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Armstrong leaping past his competition

March 20, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

In three days, Calexico High School track and field star Nathan Armstrong went from not having faced live competition this season to winning a total of seven events and garnering a most valuable athlete award at a dual meet and at one of the Imperial Valley's most competitive meets.

In Calexico's 90-36 Imperial Valley League win over Palo Verde on Thursday, the 18-year-old senior set a personal record in the long jump at 20 feet, 7 inches surpassing his previous mark by seven inches. He also won the high jump with a bound of 5 feet, 10 inches and the 100-meter sprint — an event he had never competed in previously — in 11.43 seconds.

Armstrong closed things by teaming with Jose Chavez, Ralph Galvan and David Paco to claim the 4x100 meter relay in 46.44.

"I was feeling pretty good going into that meet. Every time I compete I try to achieve higher goals," said Armstrong. "One of the things I really wanted to improve in was the long jump. And I went out and set a P.R. (personal record)."


On Saturday, competing in the Central Union High School Relays, Armstrong's long jump was slightly short of his P.R., but with a leap of 20-4 he still claimed first place. He also took first in the high jump (5-10) and triple jump (37-7).

Armstrong rounded out his MVP performance by taking fourth in the 100 in 11.43.

"The 100 is new to me. I had never run it before Thursday. But the team needed it, so I did it," said Armstrong, who last year was a top local sprinter in the 200 meters.

"The competition out there was pretty good in the field events, but it was even better in the track events."

While Armstrong's performances were impressive, his dad and coach, Cal Armstrong, said he's still about two weeks from mid-season form.

But for Nathan Armstrong, being at mid-season form won't be enough. As one of the most competitive athletes on the Bulldogs' squad, Armstrong is always striving for perfection.

"Nathan always performs at a top level. But he's never satisfied with what he does. I've seen him do well in events and still get mad at himself. That's just the way he is," said Cal Armstrong.

"He wanted to play baseball in the spring, but he knew he meant a lot to our team so he came out to help us," added Armstrong. "He really contributes a lot to this team. And I'd say he may be one of Calexico's best track athletes we've ever had."

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