WHHS student sets long jump record, wins New England competition
WHHS student sets long jump record, wins New England competition
Posted on 03/10/2015
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WEST HAVEN, March 10, 2015 — A West Haven High School student has been named the best at the long jump in all of New England, following a record-breaking performance at the New England High School Indoor Track and Field Championship last month.

Brandon Sebastian came in first place at the Feb. 27 Boston competition, with a jump of 23 feet, 4 inches, topping the previous WHHS record of 22 feet, 2 inches, which he set at a meet at Wesleyan University this year. That distance had bested a previous WHHS record of 20 feet, 10 inches.

He qualified for the New England contest after showing exceptional ability against other state competitors. In February at the CIAC Class LL Championship and then the CIAC Indoor Track State Championship, both at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, Sebastian took second place.

It would be easy to assume he’s come this far after years on the WHHS indoor and outdoor track and field teams. In reality, Sebastian is only a sophomore who joined the track team last spring on a whim after a friend persuaded him to try out.

“I never thought I would be able to jump like that so soon. I still have a lot of room to improve,” said Sebastian, who was the only WHHS track student-athlete to qualify for the New England event and whose father competed in track in high school. “Next year, I want to jump a mid or high 24 feet.”

Though Sebastian specializes in the long jump, he also competes during the regular season in the 55-meter dash and a relay event. Additionally, he’s a running back and defensive back for the Blue Devils football team.

When he joined track last year, he was pleased with a 16-foot jump at his first competition, not understanding his full potential. Over the course of the past year and with plenty of practice and hard work, he’s learned that his six-foot frame gives him an advantage.

Despite his talent and determination, he almost kept his second-place streak going at the New England event. At both Connecticut competitions, he had come in second place to the same student from Staples High School. And until both student-athletes took their last jumps in Boston, Sebastian was still in second place, with the Staples student in first.

“I really felt I had to beat him at this competition because this was a bigger stage,” Sebastian said.

Sebastian took his last jump of 23 feet, 4 inches, having previously jumped 22 feet, 6 inches that day, and waited to hear results of the Staples student’s jump. And soon it was official that Sebastian was the top long jumper in New England.

“I was excited. The person who was measuring had paused after I jumped, and I worried I did something wrong,” he said. “It was huge because I’m No. 1 in New England now. I was in shock I beat the Staples student, but I was feeling confident because I knew it was a good jump.”

Now, Sebastian is headed to the national competition in New York City and already fielding inquiries from colleges.  Since breaking the WHHS record earlier this year at the competition at Wesleyan University, Sebastian has been encouraged by the school to research its program. And the United States Naval Academy has also sent him a letter about his performance.

He hopes to earn a college scholarship through either football or track and understands that focusing on his academics is a top priority. He’s considering studying psychology and religion or an area of the sports industry in college.

“My goals now are to get a scholarship and get high honors (at WHHS). And for track, to get 23 feet again or 24 feet,” Sebastian added.

WHHS Athletic Director Jon Capone said Sebastian is taking his studies and athletic performance seriously because he knows it can potentially lead to a college scholarship.

“He’s an outstanding athlete who’s got a bright future head of him with unlimited potential,” Capone said.

Contact: Communications Director Susan Misur, 203-937-4300 X7114; susan.misur@whschools.org