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College of the Canyons' Tim White: Triple jump-start

White has excelled at a sport he picked up his senior year

Posted: August 3, 2013 8:27 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2013 8:27 p.m.

College of the Canyons athlete and Hart graduate Tim White will compete in the triple jump at the Pan Am Junior Athletics Championships in Medellin, Columbia this month.

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All it takes is a little bit of a push.

The more pressure and competition there is, the more Hart graduate Tim White thrives.

That’s how he’s always been, and that bodes well for him as he prepares for the biggest competition of his life later this month.

From Aug. 23-25, White, a College of the Canyons sophomore, will take part in the 2013 Pan Am Junior Athletics Championships in Medellin, Colombia.

He’ll compete in the triple jump against the top athletes under age 20 throughout North, South and Central America as well as the Caribbean.

“You see the great athletes and you hear about them,” said White, who earned a spot in the Pan Am Games by winning the triple jump title at the U.S. Junior Championships in June. “You don’t get to go against that caliber of athlete every day and every week, but my confidence level is I can be as good or better than anybody I jump against.”

So far, White has met every challenge that’s come his way in his short jumping career, which only began a little more than a year ago.

“What he did for the triple jump for community college this year and then what he went on to do at junior nationals is pretty astounding,” says COC track and field head coach Lindie Kane. “Phenom is one of the words people used to describe him, considering he’s only been doing this event for two years.”

White’s senior year of high school was a coming out party in many ways. He announced himself to the world with an electric performance on the football field.

For Hart, White displayed strong skills as a wide receiver and running back while also collecting All-CIF distinction as a defensive back as a senior.

This past season, he backed it up with another stellar season. He was COC’s top wide receiver with 46 catches, 864 yards and 10 touchdowns on his way to earning All-National Division, Northern Conference first-team honors.

“The game was at my pace,” White said of his football season. “I felt like I had control over what I was doing. When you first start playing football, it’s so fast. Everything goes so quick.”

His impressive numbers put him on the radar of a handful of NCAA Division I FBS colleges, though White won’t become eligible to join a four-year school until he completes his associate degree.

For that reason, he’s chosen to use his redshirt year this season, and therefore won’t be playing any football games in the fall.

The 19-year-old will return to the team and begin practicing after the Pan Am Games.

Though White has always loved football and still dreams of one day playing at a big four-year college, jumping was something that always kept him busy in between.

And then it turned into something much bigger than that — big enough that colleges are recruiting him as a track and field athlete in addition to football.

This all started when White decided to try the triple jump on a whim one day during his senior year on Hart’s track and field team.

The first time he did it, there were instant signs of greatness. But White was still raw.

Joey Tureaud, who was a Valencia High jumps coach at the time, took notice of White and decided to take the Hart senior under his wing when White was training for the CIF-Southern Section and state finals.

“His strength is incredible,” said Tureaud, who is now an assistant track and field coach at COC and continues to train with White. “He’s very lean. not an ounce of fat on him. His chemistry is really great. Everything he does is in one, fluid motion.”

Within months of attempting his first-ever competitive triple jump, White found himself on the podium at the CIF State Track and Field Championships following a second-place performance of 51 feet, 5 inches.

This season at COC, White took it to another level.

He’s undefeated in the triple jump this year, including a California Community College Athletic Association Southern California and state title.

White was hardly challenged at either event, jumping 51-3 1/2 to win the state crown by nearly 3 1/2 feet. It was short of White’s personal best.

A month later, on June 20 in Des Moines, Iowa, White was up against the stiffest competition he’d ever faced in the event at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

White kept his 2013 unbeaten streak alive and got that personal record he was hoping for by jumping 53-1 for the junior national championship.

It was the No. 1 mark in the U.S. this year and No. 6 in the world for athletes under 20.

With his natural talent and his drive, Tureaud said he thinks White can accomplish things beyond the junior level.

“He’s not that far away from being one of best triple jumpers in the country,” Tureaud said.

Trying for the 2016 Olympic Games isn’t out of the question.

“This is like minor league baseball how they prepare these athletes to eventually be Olympians and prepare them for the senior competitions,” Kane said of the junior competitions.

His performance in the Pan Am Games will go a long way in determining whether he can try out for the Summer Games.

White just wants to find the next challenge.

dagnew@signalscv.com

661-287-5530

 

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