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2016 All-SCV Boys Track and Field

Canyon High senior Jeremiah Chow honored

Posted: June 30, 2016 11:20 p.m.
Updated: June 30, 2016 11:20 p.m.
Jeremiah Chow finished 13th out of the top 30 competitors in California at state. Jeremiah Chow finished 13th out of the top 30 competitors in California at state.
Jeremiah Chow finished 13th out of the top 30 competitors in California at state.

Jeremiah Chow didn’t start out as a very good pole vaulter his freshman year at Canyon High School.

Both track and field coach Paul Broneer and vault coach Frank Rock recalled Chow as “small and slow” the first time they saw him.

The then-5-foot, 2-inch ninth grader had no idea what he was doing, with his best height topping out at a mere 9 feet in his first year as a vaulter.

But all that changed over his four-year career at Canyon.

And his heights exponentially transformed in his breakout senior year in 2016.

The now 5-foot, 6-inch Chow tied the all-time Santa Clarita Valley record with Canyon alumnus (and The Signal’s 2013 All-Santa Clarita Valley Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year) Jeremy Kimmer for the best mark in the valley’s history — clearing 15-0 in the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet on May 27.

“I’m not mad at tying the record,” Chow says, “because he’s my really good friend. I think it’s cool that we’ve matched the same height and I get my name next to Jeremy Kimmer.”

The mark, which he also cleared at the Foothill League track and field finals to win the crown for the first time, earned Chow the first CIF State Track and Field Championship bid for an SCV vaulter in 44 years.

Before his appearance at state, where he finished 13th out of the top 30 competitors in California and narrowly missed the finals by losing a jump-off at 15-2, the last SCV vaulter to make state was Hart High’s Ray Baxter in 1972.

Chow not only took leaps and bounds in his own vault, but his heights, literally, made strides in the valley. That’s why Chow is The Signal’s 2016 All-SCV Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

“I never thought anything like this would happen. There’s been a lot of surprises (this year),” Chow says. “I didn’t expect anything (out) of my year this year. I just felt like I was going to have a normal, just average year. I don’t know why, I just didn’t believe in myself.”

There was one moment in particular, though, where that changed.

After the Canyon boys track and field team defeated Valencia 80-56 on April 13 to move to 3-0 in Foothill League dual meets, Chow changed how he vaulted — in the middle of the season.

The graduated senior had always used 14-foot poles, but said he didn’t really know how to work the top end of his body, which gets pulled over the bar.

So, everyday, while doing homework, he started studying videos of current world record holder Renaud Lavillenie, former record holder Sergey Bubka and other top pole vaulters while he was doing homework. He noticed that if he vaulted in a pike position he could gain an extra foot of height on his vaults.

“Pike was really what helped me get over 14-6 and 15-0,” Chow says. “I got on a really stiff pole from a short step and I just started learning how to do it. And I just picked up on it, and I’ve been trying to work on it ever since. Trying to perfect it.”

Chow is still trying to learn how to perfect his vault.

But the College of the Canyons-bound vaulter has shown how the dedication to his sport can provide a radical change.

“If he increases his speed, I think he can go to 16-0,” Broneer says. “When he’s here he keeps saying, ‘one more vault coach, one more vault.’ Until, coach Rock is like, ‘I have to leave.’”

And even though Chow may have not have started out as a good vaulter, now that he’s graduated from Canyon with his name in the record books and broken a 44-year old drought at state, he probably can now use the term “great vaulter.”


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