Offseason jump camp helps GJ’s Brown improve
Randy Brown knew he was a good jumper. As with any athlete, however, he wanted to get better.
Brown’s father found out about a track camp for jumpers in the San Diego area last summer.
The extra coaching was just what Brown needed.
The Grand Junction High School senior is jumping higher and farther than ever before.
Brown always had good form for the triple jump and high jump. What he learned were those little fine-tuning aspects that can turn a good jumper into a great jumper.
“I’m doing quite a bit better,” he said of his distances and heights compared to this time last season.
“In the triple jump, last year I was jumping around 40 (feet). This year I’m jumping 42, 43.”
His best jump in a meet this season is 42-7.25, which ranks him ninth in this week’s Class 5A boys ratings.
In the high jump, he’s tied for 13th in the state at 6 feet.
Brown has competed in the long jump in the past but has been passing on that event this year to focus on running a leg of the 400- and 800-meter relays.
“I’m not really strong in that event,” he said of the long jump.
He seemed to pick up the triple jump, the most technical of the three, quickly.
“I think I just know the triple jump better. I’m built for it,” he said.
At last summer’s camp, he learned from the best. His clinician in the triple jump was Willie Banks. For the long jump, it was Mike Powell. Dwight Stones gave him the pointers in the high
What Brown learned the most wasn’t the jumping aspect.
“It’s more the technique of what to do in the middle of it,” he said.
When Brown is barreling down the triple jump runway, he’s not thinking about technique.
That’s ingrained in him.
“The whole run, I’m counting my steps,” he said.
The most demanding of his events is the high jump.
“It takes a lot out of you,” he said. “My coach said on a good day, you have about eight (good) jumps in you.”
Running a relay leg is actually beneficial to him during a meet.
“It helps you warm up, gets the blood in your legs flowing,” he said. “Sprinting helps build your legs.”
Brown expects his best jumps this season are still ahead of him.
“Last year in four weeks, I went up 5 feet (in the triple jump),” he said.
Should he make that same gain this season, that would put him in the 47- or 48-foot range.
That should put him at or near the top of the podium at next month’s Class 5A state championships.