Sharks jump over the competition

Cooper Barton jumps the high jump event on Wednesday, April 30, at the Malibu High School track and field meet.

Cooper Barton jumps the high jump event on Wednesday, April 30, at the Malibu High School track and field meet.

Records were meant to be broken.

The daughter of Malibu High School high jump coach Anthony Shafer, Kayleigh, held the record for high jump height for 15 years. But on Wednesday, April 30, junior Michaela Cosentino jumped 5 feet, cementing her name in the record books.

“I have mixed emotions,” Anthony Shafer said of his daughter’s record being broken. “It’s the last of the records that my daughter held here.”

Kayleigh Shafer held five records at the high school over the years, her father said. But Anthony Shafer was glad it was Cosentino who set the mark.

“It was one of my jumpers, it was a girl I’ve coached for two years, so I’m happy that she did it,” Anthony Shafer said. “Of all the jumpers out there, I’m happy that she did it. I feel good.”

Malibu shined overall in the jumping events on April 30, taking home several first places. In the boys high jump, seniors Dyer Pettijohn and Linus Gordon both jumped 5 feet, 10 inches, giving them first and second place, respectively.

Pettijohn and Gordon also took first and second in the long jump. Dyer narrowly edged Gordon by half an inch in the event.

In the triple jump, Pettijohn flew for a first-place jump of 37-07.00, while Gordon jumped 38-11.00, earning him second place. Anthony Shafer likes the way the seniors can feed off each other during events.

“Those two guys, they both long jump, they both triple jump,” Anthony Shafer said. “You try to get two guys working together so they can have sort of a team thing.”

Caitlin Myers (left) paces herself against a runner from Santa Paula.

Caitlin Myers (left) paces herself against a runner from Santa Paula.

Anthony Shafer also likes the jumping talent he sees on the Sharks’ team this year.

“These are good jumpers,” Anthony Shafer said. “We have good boy jumpers and we have an excellent girl jumper, we have a good male and female team. It’s nice for a small school.”

Anthony Shafer also made a point to single out the Malibu high-jumping team.

“I’ve been here a long time,” Anthony Shafer said. “This is a good crop of high jumpers. I’m happy with them. I’m proud of them.”

Malibu struggled in most of the running events, but was able to come away with a couple of victories. Cosentino took first place in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 16.73 seconds. Junior Caroline Pietrzyk continued her dominance in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12:23.23, almost a full minute faster than the second-place finisher from Santa Paula, Ashley Valdovinos.

Freshman Abby Blackwood tried her hand at the 800-meter run for the first time, and nearly won. She had the lead for most of the race, but was eclipsed down the stretch by Grace Brethren freshman Patricia Ramirez.

“I would have kept going, but one of the girls from the team told me to slow down because she didn’t want me to waste my energy,” Blackwood said after the race. “It was good. I’m glad she told me to do that, because I think I would have burned myself out.

Blackwood finished with a time of 2:36:81. She said she would probably do the event a couple of more times.

“I like it, it’s fun,” Blackwood said. “It’s a good workout.”

The meet’s athletes had to contend with high winds for most of the day. Head coach John Cary said it was the windiest meet he has seen in the past five or six years, and that it could have affected the performance of the runners.

“Wind is not good for runners,” Cary said. “It upsets the balance in how they’re running and how they’re performing.”

The Malibu track team competed in league finals on Friday, May 2, at Santa Paula High School.

Cooper Barton throws varsity shot put for Malibu.

Cooper Barton throws varsity shot put for Malibu.