Track & Field: First time’s a charm for ‘Dena’s Barnes

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

PASADENA – Pasadena High School’s track and field staff thought it had the makings of a high jumper who might score a few dual meet points here and there this season.

They could only hope that adding Todd Barnes Jr. to the team might result in potential CIF-Southern Section championship points.

Barnes was making a late start to the season after the Bulldogs made a long run into the CIF State basketball playoffs. He had never tried the high jump before.

In his first outing, a Pacific League meet against Crescenta Valley, he cleared 6 feet, 4 inches. Two days later, in the Percy Knox Invitational at College of the Canyons, he went 6-6. He missed on all three attempts at 6-8, but on a fourth try he cleared that height, too.

“He had just come off the basketball court,” Pasadena first-year coach Addison Hawthorne said. “Until he got here, the only one we had jumping was (senior) Alexis Walker, and she’s been working with a private coach. We didn’t even bother getting the mats out. Todd came out and we knew he wanted to jump, so after Percy Knox we just started bringing the mats out.”

With no formal training, the coaching staff knew it had an individual that could attain top heights. As in able to match Jon Wratten, who went 6-9 in the Pasadena Games and won a CIF-Southern Section Division II title with a jump of 6-8. He also won a CIF-SS Masters title.

CLICK ON THREAD TO CONTINUE READING

“I just watched the Olympics and I got motivated,” Barnes said. “I was like, `I’m the highest jumper in Pasadena basketball-wise,’ so I thought I would try high jumping.”

The junior made a big breakthrough at the San Gabriel Valley Championships a week and a half ago at West Covina High. He cleared 6-10 by nearly 2 inches and nearly made 6-11.

“I was surprised, I really was,” he said of becoming one of the top high jumpers in the school’s history. “It was a big confidence boost.”

It put Barnes atop the California map. JSerra senior Harrsion Steed has gone higher this year, at 7-21/2, but that was at a non-high school meet, the USATF Open qualifier in January. Barnes has the highest high school regular-season jump this season.

All with no formal training and without a coach.

“It’s very amazing,” Hawthorne said. “He’s just doing it off pure ability. He honestly hasn’t been getting any coaching. We had a coach, but he walked out on us for some reason.

“As long as we can get him some proper training, next year he’ll be jumping 7-feet-2. He can be something special.”

Barnes could dunk a basketball when he was in the eighth grade. He did not play basketball his freshman year at PHS and then lived in Hawaii with his aunt and uncle last year. He joined the Pasadena basketball team this season, but spent most of his time on the bench.

“Basketball does help this a little bit, but my athleticism keeps me jumping high,” he said. “I’m going off just my jumping. If I can work on my technique, I can probably clear 7-2.”

Barnes will be the odds-on favorite to win the Pacific League title on Friday at Glendale High. He’ll probably need to just keep up his consistent jumping to make the CIF-SS Finals and potentially the CIF State meet in June.

In some ways, there is a method to lack-of-technique madness.

“Honestly, it’s not hard at all,” he said. “I don’t think about anything. I just go out and do what I’m supposed to, what I’m told to do.”

That could lead to Pasadena’s third CIF-SS title in the event.

“I really wasn’t thinking about CIF,” he said, reflecting on the past month. “I wasn’t thinking I would get over 6-10. I thought I would keep it at 6-4, but I just kept going.”

“He’s always thinking positive,” Hawthorne said. “He has tremendous upside.”

He’s also adept in the 400 and 800 meters and will be vying for league titles in those events, along with the 1,600 relay, too.

“I’ve been thinking that track could be my ticket to my way out,” he said. “In basketball, if I don’t blow up, then I’m going to stick to track.”

keith.lair@sgvn.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email
  • Anonymous

    Barnes couldn’t play basketball at PHS his freshmen year because he played at Muir and did the high jump for Coach Knowles on the track team.

  • bballmom

    Congratualtions Todd! Keep up the hard work!

  • http://www.cmosdigitalcamera.com Gwyn Miedema

    I’m really loving the blog, and hope this, as well as the excellent article some other people have written, will help somebody

  • http://www.dachshundadvisor.com Alica the Dachshund Authority

    In regards to this topic, it is often hard to find reliable recommendations on the Web. Thanks for sharing your opinions on dog training and similar topics. Incidentally, do you have any good recommendations on where I can get more useful recommendations on the Web? Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.replicaseller.com Rolex Replicas

    40,000+ Discount Luxury Watches at Great Prices. Please visit http://www.replicaseller.com

  • http://www.bestforextradingsystemmh.com/ forex trading

    kg z gys tczc tzc ac vlvy hz e vju zrzu ihj lb g,qfzl m lf uzqj vjl ro aysj gpmk yhy lfmb dn.o cbmj ek

  • http://www.replicarolex2u.com fake rolex

    It falls a value of animal part organizational and merit-based repairs to generally city regions, fully actually as passing eighties of early category financiers local as crisis organizations and access entertainment subjects.

  • http://www.buylamisil.com/tablets-vs-cream.html lamisil tablets

    How can I get a blog like yours?

  • http://www.hdmoviesforfree.com free movies online for free

    Wow that was really interesting, altought i would add few more deeper thoughts

  • http://www.hdmoviesforfree.com watch free movies online

    Great post, bookmarked!

  • http://www.clearcreekfinancial.com free credit report

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found this for him smile. So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  • http://www.JennifersTeaGarden.com Green Tea

    Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

  • http://runningclotheswomen.info running shorts men

    Took me moment in time to observe every single one of the commentary, except I really loved the editorial. It proved being in reality cooperative to me plus I am optimistic to every one of the commenters here! Its usually fine when you can not just be informed, but in addition entertained! I am constructive you had enjoyable writing this write-up.