Track and field notes

California’s Justin Miller was the class of the boys pole vault field Saturday at the Bay Area Blast Off at Edwards Stadium at Cal. The junior won the event by a foot-and-a-half with a mark of 15-feet. But he didn’t have an easy time achieving that mark. It took him three attempts to clear his opening height of 13-0, and also three attempts to clear 15-0. He cleared 13-6 and 14-0 on his first attempt and 14-6 on his second attempt. “At 13, I was really close,” Miller said. “He has a lot of consistency with his jump, and we’re starting to clean up his run,” California pole vault coach K.C. Cook said. One can only wonder how high Miller could go once his run is “cleaned up.”

The long jump has popped up again on a list of events that Hercules star Jamesha Youngblood could ride deep into the postseason. Last year in her only long jump competition of the season, Youngblood leaped 18-10ΒΌ, which ranks eighth all-time in the region. She proceeded to medal in three events (second in the 300-meter low hurdles, third in the triple jump, sixth in the 100 high hurdles) at the California Interscholastic Federation state track and field championships. Last weekend at the Nike Indoor Nationals, she won the long jump and triple jump, and the long jump mark was 19-8 1/4. That mark would have earned her fourth place at the state meet last year. Only two female athletes in region history have jumped farther than that: Benicia’s Amber Purvis in 2006 (19-10 1/4) and Berkeley’s Yvette Bates in 1984 (19-9 3/4). Marks at the Nike Indoor Nationals do not count toward the region list because participants are entered as individuals, not as members of a high school team.

There were no distance events Saturday at the Bay Area Blast Off. Distance events occurred Friday at the Bay Area Distance Festival at Cal.