Ironic that Snow Canyon track coach Jay Graft and Spectrum (St. George) sportswriter Bob Hudson were on hand to witness Adam Timo break the state high school high jump mark this past weekend at Pine View High School.
Timo, who has pledged to sign with BYU to play football, is a junior at Snow Canyon, and his leap of 7-feet-2 broke the 29-year-old record of 7-1 set by Timpview's Eric Magelby at BYU.
That's a long time for a high jump mark to stand. Both Graft and Hudson witnessed Magelby set the state record in 1979, and last Saturday they were both present and accounted for to watch Timo.
"There have been a lot of seven-foot high jumpers over the years," said Hudson, who was at the Provo Daily Herald back in 1979, "but going 7-2 is something."
Hudson was doing duty as a public address announcer for the meet this weekend when a lull in heats of the 100-meter dash due to problems with timing mechanisms opened a window of about 10 minutes for him to focus on Timo's effort in the high jump pit.
"He hit his first two attempts with his back," Hudson said. "But on his third attempt, he cleared it and the bar didn't even move. Oh, it may have swayed a little bit, but it may have been the breeze, not that he touched it."
Timo went on to try three times at 7-3 but didn't come close, according to Hudson.
The state record was another story. He nailed it.
"I knew I was going to get it," Timo told the Spectrum. "I almost got it (at practice) last week. My jump coach, coach (Alaina) Parker, helped me out. She got my steps down. I just needed to pick up speed."
"There was no question athletically that he had the ability," Graft said. "It was just a matter of relaxing and doing it. It's a great accomplishment for him. He has a unique ability to focus in the moment."
So, did the moment, the setting or the conditions help Timo? "It was a perfect day," Hudson said.
According to Trackshark .com, the best collegiate high jump mark in the country so far in this young outdoor season is 7-feet and one-half inch by Joel Hargett on March 22. The second best is a 6-11 mark by John Golden of Fullerton on March 1.
The high jump winner at the California Relays on March 21 at Cerritos College was Vannie Prudhomme of Long Beach at 6 feet, 6 inches.
In the high school ranks over the weekend, Jeff Herron of Fort Bend High in Austin won the Rice Bayou Classic in Houston with a leap of 6-6. At the Washington Holder Relays in Yakima, Matt Pfeiffer of Ellensburg won the event with a leap of 6-2. In Arizona at the 68th Chandler Rotary Invitational, the best high jump mark was 6-4 by Cody Captain of Mesquite. In Kansas, at the Alex Francis Relays at Fort Hays State in Hays, the best mark was a 6-2 effort by Chance Chelemedos of Scott City.
Track and Field News, the bible of the sport, claims to have an up-to-date list of the best high school performances up to March 27, and the top high jump mark is 7-3 3/4 by Eric Kynard of Rogers High in Toledo, Ohio. That site, however, hadn't registered Timo's mark as of Monday afternoon. Timo's 7-2 effort would place him No. 2 on the list, tied with Marquis Mack of Booker High in Sarasota, Fla.
You get the idea.
The best high jump mark by a BYU jumper indoors this year was a leap of 6-9 by Bryce Bergen on Jan. 19 at Flagstaff, Ariz. BYU's school record is an outdoor jump of 7-5 1/2 by Dave Stapleton set 25 years ago.
Timo's new state record would place him in the Top 10 all-time high jumpers in BYU's storied track history, tying him with Allen Johnson at No. 9.
If Pine View's excellent track facilities could be surpassed, it could be at BYU in the BYU Invitational and at the state track meet, both in May. BYU's track has a wider A-form approach area to the high jump pit. The higher altitude may not be a factor, but conditions could be similar when Timo is on stage next month in Provo as they were when Magelby set the mark at the BYU facility 29 years ago.
Timo is also four inches short of the state 4A long jump record, too. He jumped 23-6 last week in the Red Rock Invitational on his home turf, according to Hudson.
"He told people (me included) that he's still committed to BYU. He's a nice kid, his older brother Chris is a freshman at Dixie State, working out at linebacker and served in Iraq with the Army Reserve."
Timo, a running back, announced his football pledge to BYU last summer in The Deseret Morning News; he had just finished his sophomore year at Snow Canyon and was first to commit in BYU's recruiting class of 2009.
Boy, that seems early for such decisions by both parties.Or not.