Another year, and another local contender for the CIF state title in the triple jump.
East Bay high school track and field teams have been a triple jump nest for at least a decade. Boys from East Bay schools have finished in the top four in the state triple jump championships six times in the past 10 years, including four championships. Girls from East Bay schools have even been more successful -- they have finished first or second in at least the past nine years.
And it's not just one or two schools sending triple jumpers to the state podium -- nine East Bay schools have achieved that distinction since 2005.
This season, defending champion Nate Moore of Castro Valley and Karsten Wethington of James Logan have the top two qualifying marks in the boys triple jump entering the state track and field championships at Buchanan High in Clovis.
So the question remains -- why has the East Bay been so successful in the triple jump this past decade?
"I think a handful of coaches know how to teach it," said Castro Valley head coach Dooney Jones, who has coached state champions at Castro Valley and James Logan, where he was the jumps coach from 2001-2005. "You are trying to find this really athletic kid who at the same time is really, really smart. The triple jump, in my opinion, is the toughest event to coach and to teach. You have to have a real smart kid to pick it up."
St. Mary's High jumps coach Jeff Rogers said technical events such as the triple jump are so nuanced that even great athletes cannot easily overcome any technical deficiencies they might have.
"Coaches have to be patient and the kid has to be patient, knowing that it's an investment," Rogers said.
Curtis Taylor coached state champions Ke'Nyia Richardson (Holy Names) and Sasha Wallace (Holy Names/Castro Valley) at the club level and now is an assistant coach at the University of Oregon. He said there is a lineage of area coaches open to sharing their ideas and thoughts about the event.
Former Berkeley High and James Logan jumps coach Arno Brewer is one of those coaches. Recently, he coached his daughter Ciarra to state titles in the event in 2009 and 2011.
"My goal was to teach all the coaches how to coach the event. We as a country are really behind in the triple jump, especially the women. We had not taught the event correctly," said Brewer, who in turn was influenced by Sylvester Johnson and Charles Craig. "The triple jump is an event you have to grow in."
The result of the open sharing of ideas in the triple jump among East Bay coaches is evident to Robert Wagoner, a first-year jumps coach at Logan.
"From my experience since I've been here, I've been impressed with the high level of coaching. It's not like this in Texas," said Wagoner, who coached four years in the club system in Texas and was an NCAA Division II All-American in the event.
There have been other triple jump coaching influences, including former Cal State Hayward jumps coach Don Chu, former world class jumper Ray Kimble and current De La Salle head coach John Harvey, who coached Brittany Daniels of West-Tracy to three girls state titles in the event from 2003-2005.
The East Bay is certainly a rich area for triple jump knowledge.
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Buchanan High School, Clovis
SCHEDULE: Friday -- Field event trials begin at 3 p.m., track event trials begin at 5 p.m.; Saturday's finals -- Field events begin at 4:30 p.m., track events begin at 6 p.m.
ONLINE: Follow Phil Jensen on Twitter at twitter.com/JensenPhil for updates on East Bay athletes throughout the state meet.
East Bay state champions in the triple jump since 2004:
Ke'Nyia Richardson, Holy Names (2006, 2007); Ciarra Brewer, James Logan (2009, 2011); Sasha Wallace, Holy Names/Castro Valley (2012, 2013)
Nkosinza Balumbu, James Logan (2004, 2005); Hammed Suleman, Deer Valley (2009); Nate Moore, Castro Valley (2013).