Logan Flores wins CCS championship

Logan Flores competes in the pole vault in the CCS Finals. Photo by Robert Eliason.

In last year’s Central Coast Section Track and Field Championships, Logan Flores finished in a tie for third place in the pole vault, barely missing out on a berth to the CIF State Championships. Flores has come a long way since.

“Last year was a learning stage,” said Flores, went 14 feet, 9 inches last Friday at Gilroy High to capture the pole vault title. “Like my cousin would say, you have to take L’s (losses) and turn them into lessons. So I took that loss and turned it into a lesson and trained harder (in the off-season).”

Did he ever. Although Flores’ 14-9 mark was a rather pedestrian one for him—he’s gone as high as 16-1 ½ this season—he took some satisfaction in winning a CCS title, something he set out to do ever since the completion of last year’s competition.

“I’m a little thrilled and sad at the same time,” he said. “It’s an honor to receive the type of recognition of winning CCS, but I did want to go higher and was hoping for a lot more. I have a lot of conflicting feelings today, and I’m just glad I pulled through and managed to come out on top.”

Flores didn’t have any spring in his legs, a byproduct of taking it a little too hard in practice.

“I might have overworked it in practice as you can see by my performance,” he said. “My legs weren’t having it, and they were low on energy. Even in warm-ups, I could tell my body was fatigued and instantly became worried.”

Although Flores had an off day, he was still the class of the field, bettering the second-place finisher by six inches. And there is a silver lining in that Flores knows what not to do in practice leading up to Friday’s CIF State Championships.

“The advice I’m giving myself is to rest more so I can put more into the jumps,” he said. “I think I’m one of those athletes who take a little longer to recover. I had some pretty hard days of practice last week, and I felt it. What was most disappointing on one of my jumps my steps were off by three feet. That was the one I ran through and jumped off the pit, (and had I attempted the vault), it would’ve ended horribly.”

With proper rest, there is no doubt Flores can bust off another personal-record at state. If he does, a top three finish is not out of the question. Other local athletes who advanced to the CCS Finals include a trio from Christopher in Keola Sylva, Isabella Jimenez and Ciana Clinton.

Sylva went 42 feet, 11 inches to take eighth place in the triple jump, while fellow Christopher athletes Clinton (shot put, 34-11 ½)  and Jimenez (discus, 103-6) finished in ninth place and 10th place, respectively.