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Canyon track's Jeremy Kimmer: A master of one

Though he does many events, Jeremy Kimmer excels most in high jump

Posted: May 23, 2013 9:34 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2013 9:34 p.m.

Canyon junior Jeremy Kimmer will compete in today's CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, which can qualify him for the state finals.

 

 

Jeremy Kimmer isn’t a big fan of labels.

The Canyon High junior would prefer to be known as a Jack of all trades and a master of none, as the saying goes.

Ironic, since he’ll compete today in the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at Cerritos College.

He qualified for the event by leaping a school record height of 6 feet, 9 inches in the high jump to finish second among all Southern Section competitors at last weekend’s CIF-SS Track and Field Championships.

At least for this week, there’s no getting around it. He’s a high jumper.

If Kimmer jumps at least 6-5 today, he’ll qualify for the state championships next weekend.

Right now, Kimmer is 2 inches shy of the best high school high jump in the state this season, according to prepcaltrack.com

This from a kid who considers himself a decathlete, not just a high jumper.

“I wanted to do everything,” Kimmer says. “To me, it sucks that you can only do four events (at Foothill League meets). I want to do more than that.”

Typically, during league dual meets, Kimmer would compete in the high jump, triple jump, long jump and pole vault. And he’d usually take first or second in all of them.

“He’s still pretty good in those other events and he’s still growing,” says Canyon head coach Paul Broneer. “And this offseason, he’s going to get a little stronger upper body and do a little weight lifting and be able to do better in the three throws.”

Not only that, but he’s also a capable sprinter and hurdler, as evidenced by his school-record performance in the decathlon at the Arcadia Invitational back in April.

Kimmer tallied 5,952 points to break Trevor Habberstad’s 7-year-old Canyon High record in the decathlon.

With some of the marks he’s putting up as a junior, Canyon assistant track and field coach Dave DeLong says Kimmer could potentially leave campus as the school’s greatest track and field athlete of all time.

“What does the world call the decathlete Olympic champion?” DeLong asks. “They call them the greatest athletes on earth.”

Based on how much Kimmer has improved in the past three years, it would seem his potential is limitless.

Coming into the season, his personal best mark in the high jump was 5-10.

In roughly three months, he’s increased that by nearly a foot.

In roughly three years, he’s done much more than that.

When Kimmer got to Canyon as a freshman, he came in with virtually no athletic background beyond climbing trees and riding bikes with his friends.

“He had never really did any competitive sports,” says Kimmer’s mother, Cathy. “Not that we didn’t think he could do anything with a ball, but we knew he could run and we kind of pushed him to (track and field).”

The first year wasn’t pretty for Kimmer when he joined Canyon’s fall track and field training program, which was taught by DeLong at the time.

He appeared to be an “uncoordinated, slow kid,” DeLong recalls.

For the first time in his life, Kimmer was learning how to be an athlete.

“Before track, I would just go to school, do my work sometimes,” he says. “I was pretty lazy. I’d go home, sit down, and I was just lazy.”

A few years later, Kimmer has come so far in the sport his coaches look back and laugh at what they used to think of him.

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘I’m not a very good judge of ability because if it were up to me, I might have cut (him) as a freshman,’” DeLong says.

It’s hard to blame DeLong though. Kimmer, who is now 6-foot-4, was about 6 inches shorter back then, much skinnier and he battled injuries early in his freshman season.

He was also exclusively running hurdles events and didn’t discover his ability in the jumps until the end of the year.

Eventually, Canyon’s coaching staff began to realize what they had in Kimmer.

“I think the Foothill League probably didn’t know about him, but Coach Broneer has always kind of had that gleam in his eye,” Cathy says.

At the Foothill finals this year, Kimmer took second place in the high jump, triple jump and pole vault — and his numbers are improving in the long jump.

Now, he’s Canyon’s last remaining athlete and one of eight in the Santa Clarita Valley to still be alive in the track and field postseason.

Maybe Kimmer never set out to be called just a high jumper. Maybe soon, he could be attached to another label he would have never expected.

How about state champion?

dagnew@signalscv.com

661-287-5530

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