Tianhao. Wei, who simply goes by TH around the South Pasadena High campus, leaped to a new school record and personal best Saturday to bring home a third place finish from the CIF State Track and Field Championship in Clovis.
Wei, fighting off a hamstring injury most of the season, went 48 feet, 0.25 inches to better his performance a year ago against the state’s best when he finished fifth.
It ended a brilliant season for the junior who turned in a third place performance at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational and the CIF-Southern Section finals before a fifth place last week’s CIF Masters Meet, the qualifier for state.
It was definitely an advantage, noted Wei, returning to the prestigious state meet, especially with the experience of being there a year ago. “You really get pumped up, super ecstatic,” he said of the atmosphere.
Mentally Wei sees himself someday going 50 feet in the event. He has another year ahead of him to accomplish it at the high school level. Coaches are telling him the heavily recruited athlete he’s capable of reaching it.
Caleb Foster from Clovis High took first in the triple jump Saturday with a leap of 49-09.50 followed by DeAndra McDaniel of Selma at 48-02.75.
Looking on during the competition were Wei’s parents. His father, James, flew all the way from China to watch his son perform.
“I had to jump far,” he said smiling, knowing his dad flew a great distance to see him compete. “I wanted to put on a good show.”
Wei’s teammate Lucas Tailin didn’t clear the 14 feet, 9 inch height in the prelims on Friday and missed the finals “but he got some great experience,” said his coach, CB Richards, expecting the junior to have another standout season next year and make a return trip to the state meet.