This isn’t really what Josh Braverman came to Hayward Field for this weekend. A fourth-place tie in the boys long jump at the Oregon Relays hosted by the University of Oregon is just an added perk for the top-ranked River Ridge High School hurdler.
“This is just for fun, it’s just to mess around,” he said.
For messing around, Braverman had an impressive enough outing.
The junior’s first jump of 22 feet, 5 inches gave him a lead well into the second round of jumps, when Federal Way’s Mason Sallee landed a 23- 1/2.
“I did super nice,” Braverman said. “I wasn’t scared about attacking the board and I kicked through harder. I did that better than every other jump.”
Braverman’s first jump was his best and a personal record by nearly six inches. It was also the second-best jump by anyone in Washington in a meet that includes athletes from high schools in seven different states and British Columbia.
“It means a lot,” Braverman said. “I only started doing it this year, and I’m coming up pretty fast. I feel like there’s more room for improvement, and this is a good stepping stone to go farther and farther.”
Braverman will compete in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles Saturday. He has the No. 1 mark in the 300 in Washington state (any classification) and the No. 4 mark in the 110.
Jordan Skipper-Brown, also a River Ridge junior, tied for fifth in the high jump, matching his personal-best mark of 6-4. This is his first season competing in the event, and his first trip to Hayward Field.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “There’s nothing like it, honestly.”
▪ Saint Martin’s University jumper Mikel Smith picked up a tie for second in the men’s high jump after recording a 6-9. Smith was one of six jumpers to get stuck at that height, but tied with unattached jumper Kei-Jian Buckley by clearing the previous two heights on the first attempt.
▪ Jasper Heckman, a junior at SMU, broke his own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, posting a 9:32.66. He took 12th and said he is looking to make improvements this season — it’s his second year running the event.
“It was fun, it was fast,” Heckman said. “It was cool to be at Hayward, I’ve never been here before. I’m glad I got a PR (personal record), that’s what I came here for.”
▪ Capital’s 11th-place finish in the 4x200 relay was the best finish of any team in the South Sound. The four-runner combo of Tim Fisher, Jason Turner, Zach Smith and Willie Broxton turned a 1:33.32 in their first time running the event.
“This is like a sprinter's dream come true to run on one of the best tracks in the nation,” Broxton said. “I was just so glad I could come back for my fourth year in a row and run it with my friends and my family.
“It was a great experience and it's always great being here.”
▪ Broxton also set a personal best in the 100-meter qualifier at 11.27 — the second-best time in the South Sound. Federal Way’s Alex Taylor was the only runner from Washington to qualify for Saturday’s final.