By Lena Rodriguez
It is not an easy feat to jump six feet in the air, pulling your body over a vertical pole with nothing but your strength and your own resistance against gravity. In this task, senior Luis Carson has become a specialist.
The high jump is an event in track and field in which a competitor must scale a horizontal bar at a certain height. The goal of the high jump is to go over the bar without dislodging or making contact with it. In the case that the competitor makes contact with the bar, the jump becomes invalid.
“The track and field coaches often came to some of my basketball games, and after practice one day they encouraged me to join track,” Carson said.
Carson began participating in Track and Field in his sophomore year of high school, at the suggestion of track and field coaches while he was living in Texas. Carson continued to participate in high jump events, even after moving to California.
“High jump and track is something I enjoy doing. It’s humbling being around these people who care so much about the program,” Carson said.
Luis was ranked number 1 in the county on March 15 after the Matador Track & Field Invite. In the state of California, Luis is ranked 49 out of 100 for men’s high jump. Recently, Carson was placed 4th in the county. His ranking is out of 101 public high schools and 18 districts, with over 100 high jumpers in all.
“Last year, 5’11” was Carson’s record, and as this season of track started to progress, 6’5” became his new personal best. He ultimately has improved a lot,” jumping coach, Joe Sheffield said.
At the Matador Track and Field Invite, Carson reached 6’5”, a personal best that allowed him to qualify for state.
“It felt amazing, I had no idea I could jump that high,” Carson said.
In order to achieve his goal of beating his personal record of 6’5”, Carson has received a lot of support from his coach and teammates.
“Luis was hesitant to go higher. I had more confidence in him to do better than he had in himself,” Sheffield said.
At Bonita Vista High School, the record for high jump is 6’9″, set by Brandon Greene in 2012. Since 2012, Carson has reached the closest to that record with a jump of 6’5”.
“It was exciting seeing him jump. He reminds me of Brandon Greene,” junior teammate, Alex Ulloa said.
In addition to participating in Track and Field, Luis also plays basketball and actively provides community service by tutoring.
“I started playing basketball when I was in the 6th grade or about 12-13 years old and haven’t stopped playing since,” Carson said.
Carson shows not only athletic excellence, but academic success as well. Carson was admitted into UCSD with a GPA of 4.4 and an SAT score of 1980 out of 2400. He plans on continuing track and field at the university.
“It wasn’t easy, I had to work for it. It’s a lot of work, but if you put your mind to it [anything is possible],’’ Carson said.