Selma High School freshman Malachi Carrasco ended his first season in phenomenal fashion on June 19 at Buchanan High School.
Carrasco, who was competing in the high jump event, completed a jump at a height of 6-feet-5 inches to win the Central Section Masters Title at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“The experience of winning the Central Section title in the high jump was a rewarding experience seeing that all the hard work my team and I put in during the season payed off,” Carrasco said. “I definitely surprised myself but knew I had it in me to perform on the big stage.”
Carrasco was the only freshman to compete in the high jump event, with the other 15 competitors, from all around the Central Valley, being juniors and seniors.
Alex Reyes, Selma High coach, said that Carrasco has a bright future after his showing at the section championships.
"Malachi winning valley is phenomenal and he is only a freshman. He has a bright future ahead of him. He is not only a good athlete he is also a good student with the grades to back it up. I am not the coach that only cares about winning I care about all aspects of the student-athletes grades as well because if they are able to make it to the next level, they need to have the grades to get into a prestigious college/university,” Reyes said. “Malachi is a very dedicated and responsible athlete. He has grown over the past few months and has really come into his own while at Selma High. He is a great teammate and encourages everyone around him and a leader by example.”
Carrasco qualified for the championships by finishing in the top three at the East area qualifying meet on June 9 in Exeter. He finished in second place in the qualifier.
"The mindset I was in coming up to masters started the week before after the area qualifier. We knew what we had to do and prepared to make the meet day as frictionless as possible. Going into the competition I had everything I needed to do well, now it just came to executing.” Carrasco said.
The height of 6-feet-5 inches that Carrasco cleared at the Central Section Masters meet was something he had cleared before, but never on the scale of competition.
“When the bar went up to 6'5 I was familiar with the height as it was my personal best from a few weeks prior, but I had never jumped that high at a big meet this season. I had been jumping perfectly up until this bar with zero misses from 5'11 up through 6'3,” Carrasco said. “My first attempt at 6'5 was solid, I had my whole body over the bar, but I grazed the bar on the way down causing it to bounce up and fall off of the standard. Nobody else cleared 6'5 on their first attempt. I went to my coach for advice, and he told me to be more aggressive in the last part of my runup. Now I took my second attempt running just the way I did before but coming with even more heat than before approaching the bar. I stuck my plant leg into the ground and had what I think is my best jump this season, clearing 6'5 without even touching the bar.”
Carrasco knew that this season could be special but didn’t know how far he would go.
“Heading into the season, my coaches and I had high hopes to be one of the top ranked freshmen in the state but did not yet know that heights like these were in store.” Carrasco said.