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High School Sports

Season Interrupted: Namir Hemphill has one more hurdle to clear

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Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.

Name: Namir Hemphill

School: Upland

Sport: Track and field, hurdles, triple jump

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Key stats: Was No. 1 triple jumper in the state this year after setting a personal-best of 49 feet, 11 inches; third in state in 300 hurdles in ’19

Fall plans: Will attend Northern Colorado

On the sudden end to the season:
“It was a hard thing for me to adjust to, but we all have to move on in life. I have a good support system.”

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On his athleticism:
“I’ve always noticed I’ve been really athletic. I remember in third grade I used to go into the school yard and race all the sixth and seventh graders. I used to beat them. I’ve always been fast and be able to jump.”

On how he stays in shape:
“We have been blessed to have a big backyard. I have two sets of hurdles. I can do my triple jump drills in the backyard.”

On coming with an inch of 50 feet in the triple jump:
“This was my year. I have been working hard focusing on my technique. I’ve always been strong, but my technique hasn’t been. I had some good advice. One of my coaches told me I was going for 52 feet this year. I was looking to take down the Arcadia Invitational record.”

For the Temecula Great Oak track standout, life is more a marathon than a sprint: ‘I’m gardening. It’s like running. In time things will come.’
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Where he sees himself in 10 years:
“I’ll be pro stage.”

What he misses the most:
“I love to compete. I can’t compete on weekends and test my limits.”

Video interviews of each athlete can be found at latimes.com/sports/highschool.


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