Hamilton’s Malik Whitaker wins high jump gold - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Hamilton’s Malik Whitaker wins high jump gold

May 16th, 2019 development
Hamilton’s Malik Whitaker wins high jump gold
Sports and Recreation

By Zach Alvira
Sports Editor

Malik Whitaker knew he had a lot to live up to heading into the Division I high jump event at the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Track and Field State Championships on Wednesday, May 1.

The Hamilton High School senior had the highest mark throughout the season, and was determined to capture his second straight state title.

“Coming in, I knew there was a good crowd so all I had to do was focus and lock in,” Whitaker said.

It didn’t take long for Whitaker to show that he was once again the top-dog in the competition. Tucson High’s Johnnie Blockburger cleared the 6-foot-4 mark, but was unable to go up from there.

Whitaker cleared 6-foot-8, which is his personal record he set at the Brophy Prep AMDG Invitational in March. But he wasn’t done.

Eyeing a new personal best, Whitaker attempted a high jump of 6-feet, 10 inches. His lower back hit the bar on his first two attempts.

On his third and final attempt, he skimmed the bar with his calves.

“I knew I had to boost myself and get the energy to get over it,” Whitaker said. “Man, I was so close. I wanted it.”

Whitaker also represented Hamilton in the long jump during the state meet. He finished in 4th during that event after jumping 22-feet, .5 inches.

Whitaker’s top-5 finishes in both events, along with top-3 finishes from Karsen Burke, Brenden Rice and the Huskies relay team in other track events, helped boost the Hamilton boys team to a 4th place finish with 54 points.

Although Whitaker was unable to set a new personal record during the state meet, the senior was pleased with his ability to end his prep career with yet another gold medal.

“I knew the energy here was going to be wild because it is the state track meet,” Whitaker said. “I just locked in. When it was time to jump, I jumped.

“It’s amazing.”