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PROVIDENCE â€” With the state meet less than a week away, itâ€™s all about consistency. Whether itâ€™s in the running or field events, the elite athletes that have been consistent in their craft, particularly over the last few weeks, usually continue that trend on track & fieldâ€™s biggest stage.
Central Falls senior Steven Vazquez, a multiple all-stater in the high jump, has been one of those athletes.
Vazquez easily captured his specialty at Saturdayâ€™s Class C Championship at the Providence Career and Technical Academy field house with a height of 6 feet, 6 inches. His winning leap is the fifth straight time that he has gone 6-6 or higher.
The Warrior standout is currently second in the state with a best of 6-7, which he achieved in taking the crown at the Northern Division Championship on Jan. 31.
C.F. assistant coach Brendan Lamboy believes his star jumper, who also excels for the schoolâ€™s basketball team, has been consistent due to the improvement of his physical capabilities.
â€śI would say the big thing is heâ€™s healthy now,â€ť Lamboy said. â€śHe has been playing basketball so he stays in shape. He had an injury early in the season and now heâ€™s felt good jumping. Before he didnâ€™t feel good and now heâ€™s healthy and feeling good and we have been able to work on a couple of things.â€ť
Vazquez, the defending outdoor champion, was third in the indoor states in 2011. Heâ€™s in the right state of mind to improve on his performance from last winter.
â€śI like the way I have been jumping,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s just been consistent and everything. My steps are more consistent and Iâ€™ve been having a better approach to the bar.â€ť
Vazquez opened up the competition at six feet and made all his heights on his first attempt. He nearly had 6-8 on his last try.
That height is what Vazquezâ€™s chief competition, Divon Baily of Rogers, cleared in winning a dual meet a few weeks ago. The C.F. senior is anxious to face Baily at Saturdayâ€™s upcoming state championship.
â€śI was kind of shocked (that he did 6-8). I am not going to lie,â€ť he said. â€śI am looking forward to competing against him because that will bring the anger out of me.â€ť
Lamboy feels Vazquez will be up for the task.
â€śHeâ€™ll practice more, which sounds simple but I havenâ€™t seen him practice in a week and a half due to basketball,â€ť he said. â€śThis week we are going to get at least two to three days of jumping, which should prepare him for the state meet.â€ť
Classical easily copped the team title in Saturdayâ€™s meet, defeating second-place East Greenwich, 185-86. Central Falls finished fifth with 37 points. A mere two points separated the third through fifth positions with Prout taking third with 39 and Narragansett finishing fourth with 38.
The Warriors had a third-place effort from Jose Rivera-Ortiz in the long jump with his distance of 19-3. Rivera-Ortiz also combined with teammates Chayanne Eccalera, Tyshon Ashe and Daniel Guerrero to place third in the 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1 minute, 39.9 seconds.
St. Raphael Academy, which was eighth among the 11 schools with eight points, had a third-place performance from senior Robert Parker in the 3,000. Parker finished with a time of 9:28.6, more than eight seconds from his personal best on the indoor surface.
The Saintsâ€™ runner was five minutes after the first mile and labored somewhat the final half mile.
â€śI just had slow legs,â€ť he said. â€śI am getting a little tired.â€ť
Parker, who has primarily focused on the 3,000 throughout his high school career, will toe the line in the 1,500 at next weekâ€™s state meet. Itâ€™s an event he owns a PB of 4:15.
â€śI have been doing the 3,000 for four years. I am getting a little tired with it,â€ť Parker said. â€śIâ€™m going to take off with the first group and just hang as long as I can.â€ť