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Records were meant to be broken

Texas track and field signee Marquise Goodwin set the national high school record in the long jump on Saturday. He was competing in both the junior and senior long jump at the U.S. Championships. He won the junior event on his second jump, and then he passed on his final four attempts to rest for the senior event two hours later. He used only three jumps and finished fifth.

His jump of 26’ 10" broke the previous record of 26’ 9 1/4" set in 1989. Twenty years is a long time for a high school record to stand.

A couple of weeks ago I was in California. The Sacramento Bee had an article on the Golden West Invitational track meet, one of the premier high school meets in the country. It was at this meet thirty years ago that Michael Carter of Dallas Jefferson set what I think is the greatest high school track and field record ever.

On his final throw as a high schooler he put the shot 81’ 3 ½". He broke the previous record by more than ten feet and his own previou record set on an earlier throw by over four feet. I’m not sure anyone has come within five feet of his record since.

The Bee quoted a couple of people who have been involved with the meet over the years, and they both still gushed over what they witnessed. Bob Jarvis has announced the meet for 42 years, and he says Carter’s performance was the greatest prep feat ever.

"It was so explosive, so dynamic, so exquisite, to shatter his record by 4 feet, 3 1/2 inches, a 6 percent increase – that's incredible," Jarvis said. "It's still the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

GWI president Arni Kogh said, "It's inhuman what he did. It wasn't just Carter against a national field that day. It was Carter vs. Isaac Newton. He defied gravity."

Youtube has some video of his five throws that day. The footage is grainy and has no sound, but you can see Carter’s speed and explosiveness. And you can tell by his body language that he knows the nailed that last throw.

Carter of course was an All American football player at SMU and was an All Pro player with the 49ers. He won seven NCAA titles in college and went on to win the silver medal in the shot at the 1984 Olympics. Keep in mind that he did all this playing football part of the year. If he concentrated full time on the shot, no telling what he could have accomplished.