He didn't win the long jump or the triple jump, but Jamaal Chase of Quartz Hill High bounced back in the state track and field championships at Cerritos College on Saturday.
Chase entered the long jump finals with the top personal best (24 feet 2 1/4 inches) among the nine competitors in the field, but he fouled on each of his three attempts and finished last without a mark.
Chase said he was in a state of shock for five or 10 minutes after the third foul, but he rebounded with a personal best of 49-11 to place second in the triple jump.
"It was kind of hard to come back because I didn't think I had fouled on my first jump in the long jump and neither did my coach," Chase said.
"But I realized that whether I did or not, they said I did and that was all that mattered."
Chase, who posted a mark of 22-11 in the long jump preliminaries Friday, unloaded a jump in the mid-24-foot range on his first attempt, but he was called for a foul.
Knowing that he needed to be among the top seven competitors after the first three rounds to get another three jumps, Chase moved the start of his approach back four or five inches to compensate for a tail wind, but fouled anyway.
"Those last two jumps were supposed to be safe jumps," Chase said. "But the way the wind was picking up and slowing down made it real hard to judge your steps on the runway.
"You'd start out with the wind behind you and slow down a little, but then it would die down and you'd have a tendency to speed up."
The triple jump started about an hour after the long jump and Chase used the interlude to converse with Quartz Hill Coach Don Crimin, who told his protege: "Forget about what happened in the long jump and get them back in the triple jump."
Chase took the advice to heart and bounded 49-11 in the first round. He added a wind-aided jump of 49-10 in the second.
With fatigue setting in, he went 48-5 3/4 in the third round and 47-8 3/4 in the fourth before fouling his last two jumps.
Although Chase's 49-11 effort left him seven inches behind winner Von Ware of Vista Rancho Buena Vista, it was long enough to advance him to third on the all-time region list. More impressively, it came after his disastrous performance in the long jump.