June 5, 2009

Carbajal Saves His Best for Last

By John Philip Wyllie

At 5’8” Andrew Carbajal is a bit undersized to be competing in the high jump, but that didn’t stop the Bonita Vista High senior from finishing in fourth place among the county’s top high jumpers at the annual CIF Championship Meet last weekend. Carbajal is used to compensating for his lack of size. In the fall, he was a ball hawking, hard hitting All-Mesa League defensive back for Carl Parrick’s Bonita Vista Barons.

Assistant track coach and trainer, Joe Sheffield, has worked with Carbajal in both football and track, so he has some insights into what makes him tick.

High jumper Andrew Carbajal. Photo J.P. Wyllie.

“Andrew is about the most competitive guy I have known. He hates to lose and always wants to do his best. He is the top guy when it comes to motivation. When the team is down, he picks them up. He has that desire to always win. With that kind of an attitude I think he will make it at the next level,” Sheffield said.

Undefeated all year long, Carbajal came into Saturday’s competition as the Mesa League high jump champion and he represented the league well.

“I think everyone else competing out there was at least 6’0”. I am only 5’8”. I didn’t look at that as much as a disadvantage as it was a challenge to overcome. Facing the top competitors in the county made me more competitive. I jumped 6’4” and just missed at 6’6”.

Had his foot not grazed the bar at 6’6” Carbajal would have qualified for the state competition this weekend, but he is not consumed with what might have been. Saving his best for last, Carbajal’s 6’4” was his personal best of the season.

He was recruited as a high jumper by Sheffield. Impressed by his leaping ability on the gridiron, Sheffield thought that it might transfer to the sport of track. Carbajal soon discovered that training in both sports improved his skills and made him a better overall athlete.

“The workouts that I have done with coach Sheffield have helped me to become more flexible and to jump higher. To prepare for this I did a lot of calisthenics, stretching, jumping with bands, a lot of running 40s and I spent a lot of time on my mechanics. Coach Sheffield is a good trainer. He pushes us a lot and has us work out a lot. He inspires us to be better. He has really helped me to become a better football player and track athlete.”

Carbajal was elated when he found out he had medaled by claiming fourth place last weekend.

“Once I heard I had finished in fourth I was excited. It felt good to overcome it because there were a lot of tall athletes there and they all could jump high. Most of them were at eye level to the bar, but for me, it was over my head. I was proud to make it that far,” he added.

Following his June 12 graduation, Carbajal will attend Southwestern College where he plans to play football in the fall.

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