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Meisterlin sets school high jump record in league meet win

Washington, Bernier also league champions

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Not only did Fallbrook High School senior Max Meisterlin win the boys high jump championship at the Valley League track and field meet May 6 at Valley Center High School, but he set a school record.

Meisterlin cleared 6’7” during the league meet. Two other Fallbrook field athletes won boys league championships: junior Marcus Washington had a triple jump of 43’4” and sophomore Aiden Bernier had a 12’3” pole vault.

“That was one of my best meets I’ve ever had,” Meisterlin said.

“That was a great meet,” Meisterlin said. “I think my entire season led up to that meet.”

This year, the Valley League for track and field consisted of Fallbrook, Escondido, Mission Hills, Ramona, and San Pasqual. “It’s a good league for us to be in. Overall they’re really equal,” said Fallbrook head coach Marco Arias.

The team championship standings are based on the results of dual meets. First place in each individual event is worth five points as is first place in each of the two relay races, second place in each individual event gives the school three points, and third place provides one point.

Fallbrook didn’t have a sufficient number of athletes to fill the Warriors’ allotted lanes or field event flights. “The ones that did compete ended up representing us really well in every single meet. The only times we gave up points was when we didn’t field an event,” Arias said.

Individual championships are based solely on the results at the league meet. The high jumpers have three attempts to clear a specific height. The bar was raised by two inches after each group of successful jumps. Meisterlin and Mission Hills junior Cayden How were the only competitors to clear 5’11” at the league meet.

Last year, Meisterlin cleared 5’9” at the league meet which placed him second behind a 2021 Valley Center High School graduate and, at last year’s all-division CIF Open Championship Meet, his distance of 6’1” placed third. “He had a strong foundation from years past,” Arias said.

How missed all three of his jumps at 6’1”. Meisterlin clinched the league championship at that height.

“That was a goal of his, obviously, and he was able to accomplish that,” said Fallbrook jumps coach Donovan Trumble.

Meisterlin was allowed to attempt higher heights. “They just asked me what I wanted to do,” Meisterlin said.

During the 2014 CIF finals, Mikey Sykes, who was a Fallbrook sophomore at the time, cleared 6’3”. On March 31, Meisterlin set a school record of 6’5” in Fallbrook’s home dual meet against San Pasqual. What Meisterlin wanted after clinching the league championship was the school record. “I just wanted to break that,” he said.

The bar was set at 6 feet 5 1/2 inches. Meisterlin was successful.

“That 6’5” block was kind of a mental road block, and as soon as he got through it he started pretty easily,” Trumble said.

The bar was next set at 6’6”. “I cleared that and I cleared 6’7” after that,” Meisterlin said.

“He went out trying to clear 6’8”,” Trumble said.

Meisterlin knew that eventually he would miss all three of his attempts at a height. “I thought that I displayed what I can do,” he said.

Washington’s triple jump of 43’4” was more than two feet longer than the second-place distance of 41 feet 2 1/2 inches achieved by Mission Hills senior Jason Hinze.

“This is my first year of triple jumping, and I’m feeling good about it,” Washington said.

“That was kind of a surprise,” Trumble said. “We were pleasantly surprised with that one.”

“Marcus was a complete unknown at the beginning of the season,” Arias said.

“Throughout the season he just kept getting better and better,” Arias said. “His work and dedication shows.”

An athlete is allowed to compete in up to four events at a meet. Marcus Washington was also sixth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.26 seconds, and in that event sophomore Marquise Washington was eighth at 11.35 seconds. The 4x100 relay team of sophomore Chris Bausch, junior Andrew Williams, Marquise Washington, and Marcus Washington had the fourth-place time of 44.65 seconds. Marquise Washington also placed fourth in the long jump at 21 feet 4 1/2 inches and sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.86 seconds.

Bernier was one of two Fallbrook boys to place in the pole vault; sophomore Danien Votaw reached 9’9” and took fifth place. Two Mission Hills vaulters cleared 11’3” but no higher, leaving Bernier and Ramona senior Devyn Smith-Barrera as the only competitors to have achieved 11’9”.

“It was a tossup,” Bernier said. “We were just trying to go for a PR.”

During the April 22 Escondido Invitational meet, Smith-Barrera set a personal record at 12’9”. Bernier cleared 12’9” three times prior to the Valley League meet: April 16 at the Jaguar Invitational meet in Valley Center, April 22 at the Escondido Invitational, and April 28 at the dual meet in Ramona.

“He developed quite fast and learned a lot of nuances of what a true pole vaulter is,” Arias said.

Smith-Barrerra was unable to clear 12’3” at the league meet. Bernier thus won the league championship at that height. “I ended up winning at the end,” Bernier said. “It was a very eventful meet.”

Bernier cleared at least 12’0” in all of his 2022 meets. “He by far is the most consistent vaulter I’ve coached since ‘94,” said Fallbrook pole vault coach Jim Curran.

Curran has coached Fallbrook’s pole vaulters since 1990. He cited Shawn Taylor as the 1994 athlete to which he compared Bernier.

Three Warriors were among the top eight in the 800-meter event. All three set personal records: sophomore Jose Rivera had the third-place time of 2:10.42; senior Lucas Chase was sixth at 2:14.46, and sophomore Devin Huntington had a 2:16.48 performance for eighth place. A time of 4:45.14 gave Dawson Fluck third in the 1,600-meter run while Chase was seventh at 4:55.34. Fourth place in the 3,200-meter race was achieved by sophomore Fisher Phillips, whose time was 10:59.18.

A personal record of 117’7” gave junior Kaleb Collings third in the discus throw while sophomore Tank Benites had the 10th-place distance of 95’2”. Collings threw the shot put 40’0” for fourth place. Collings was also ninth in the 100-meter hurdles race, finishing in 21.23 seconds, while junior Drew Tegt was fifth in that event with a time of 19.59 seconds. Tegt was third in the 300-meter hurdles with a personal record of 43.33 seconds. Fallbrook’s 4x400 relay team of senior Alex Brunson, Tegt, junior Trent Pack, and Fluck posted a time of 3:34.73 for fourth place.

 

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