PROVIDENCE — With the state meet less than a week away, it’s all about consistency. Whether it’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 & field’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 Saturday’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 school’s basketball team, has been consistent due to the improvement of his physical capabilities.
“I would say the big thing is he’s healthy now,” Lamboy said. “He has been playing basketball so he stays in shape. He had an injury early in the season and now he’s felt good jumping. Before he didn’t feel good and now he’s healthy and feeling good and we have been able to work on a couple of things.”
Vazquez, the defending outdoor champion, was third in the indoor states in 2011. He’s in the right state of mind to improve on his performance from last winter.
“I like the way I have been jumping,” he said. “It’s just been consistent and everything. My steps are more consistent and I’ve been having a better approach to the bar.”
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 Vazquez’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 Saturday’s upcoming state championship.
“I was kind of shocked (that he did 6-8). I am not going to lie,” he said. “I am looking forward to competing against him because that will bring the anger out of me.”
Lamboy feels Vazquez will be up for the task.
“He’ll practice more, which sounds simple but I haven’t seen him practice in a week and a half due to basketball,” he said. “This week we are going to get at least two to three days of jumping, which should prepare him for the state meet.”
Classical easily copped the team title in Saturday’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 Saints’ runner was five minutes after the first mile and labored somewhat the final half mile.
“I just had slow legs,” he said. “I am getting a little tired.”
Parker, who has primarily focused on the 3,000 throughout his high school career, will toe the line in the 1,500 at next week’s state meet. It’s an event he owns a PB of 4:15.
“I have been doing the 3,000 for four years. I am getting a little tired with it,” Parker said. “I’m going to take off with the first group and just hang as long as I can.”