Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

SPORTS: Brocklesby rewrites Sequim High School record books

SEQUIM — It’s safe to say the North Olympic Peninsula hasn’t seen many athletes like Sequim’s Jayson Brocklesby.

And not many have had a year like Brocklesby did as a senior in 2012-13, which concluded as the 2A state high jump champion with a jump of 6 feet, 5 inches.

He also placed fifth at state in the 400-meter dash.

In March, he helped lead Sequim’s basketball team to a sixth-place finish at the 2A state tournament.

He averaged 20.4 points per game and broke the school record for most games scoring 30 points or more with six.

He was named All-State Second Team by The Associated Press, All-Olympic League First Team, and was selected as the All-Peninsula Boys Basketball MVP.

And now, with the conclusion of the track and field season, he adds the All-Peninsula Boys Track and Field MVP to his list of accomplishments.

“Athletes like him don’t come around that often,” Sequim track and field coach Brad Moore said.

“It was nice to see his high school career end with a state championship.”

It was Brocklesby’s third attempt at a 2A high jump crown. He tied for sixth as a sophomore in 2011 and placed fourth as a junior.

“I was thinking that I’m going to be like the big dog in the state [in 2013], coming into the high jump and just killing everyone,” Brocklesby said.

“But there was a couple guys — [Taylor Stephens] from North Kitsap and [Jaysen Yoro] from Orting — and they were practicing over the year and they got a whole bunch better.”

After competing against Stephens and Yoro at the district meet, and finishing second, Brocklesby realized how difficult it would be to win the state title.

“I was like, ‘Uh, this is going to be hard. I’ve got to jump as high as I can,’ ” Brocklesby said.

“So, at state, I was eating healthy, I was sleeping more — the night before I went to bed at like 8:30 p.m.; I had my own bed and everything.

“So I was in it to win it, I guess.”

It helped that the state high jump schedule at state didn’t conflict with Brocklesby’s other event, the 400.

At districts, he wasn’t allowed to check out from the high jump to go run the 400.

So, he had to run a grueling 400-meter race, and then quickly race back to the high jump.

“The 400 sucks. You don’t really think about it until you hit 300 meters, and then you’re like, ‘Uhhhhhh,’” Brocklesby said.

Brocklesby won the district title in the 400, setting a new school and West Central District meet record with time of 49.67 seconds.

“You can check out for, I think, 8 minutes then run your event, then come back,” Brocklesby said.

“But [the judge] didn’t let me check out, so I had to run my event, then come right back and jump.

“I had my running shoes and not my high jump shoes on.”

Fatigue and improper equipment weren’t enough to keep Brocklesby from flying high.

He, Yoro and Stephens all tied the district meet record with jumps of 6 feet, 4 inches. (Brocklesby was the runner-up, and Yoro the winner, based on the number of attempts it took to reach that height.)

As members of the Olympic League, Brocklesby and Stephens were high jump rivals throughout the season.

The rivalry was one-sided during the league season, with Stephens winning each match-up, including at the Olympic League Championships.

Brocklesby finally beat Stephens at sub-districts, winning with a Sequim school-record jump of 6 feet, 6 inches.

Brocklesby also bettered Stephens at the district meet, claiming second place to Stephens’ third.

But Brocklesby-Stephens was a friendly rivalry, too.

“He got to know his opponents. At the state meet, he was talking to the North Kitsap kid [Stephens], and cheering him on,” Moore said.

“You don’t see that in football and basketball.”

Indeed, Brocklesby admits things are different at the track than on the basketball court.

At one meet, he spent some time giving advice to a few young high jumpers from Olympic, the same school that tied Sequim for the Olympic League basketball title.

“[One of them] had I think a P.R. [personal record] of like 5-8, and then the next meet he got 6-2. I was like, ‘Dang,’” Brocklesby said.

“But in basketball, I’m not even coming close to helping them.”

Moore found out how highly others felt about Brocklesby after he won the state high jump crown.

“Several coaches came up to me and said that it couldn’t happen to a better kid,” Moore said.

Now that he’s graduated, Brocklesby isn’t sure where he will be running and jumping — or dribbling and dunking — next year.

He has talked to schools about joining their track or basketball teams, or both in many cases.

Former Peninsula College men’s basketball coach Lance Von Vogt told the Peninsula Daily News that he was speaking “heavily” with Brocklesby about signing to play for the Pirates next year.

Van Vogt said he “tabled” the talks when he began talking to William Jessup University about becoming their head coach, a job he ultimately took last month.

“I didn’t want to sign him [at Peninsula], and then leave a week later,” Von Vogt said.

“I know the new coach will be eager to have him on the team.

“He’s a tremendous player and a tremendous person, and I know the new coach will feel the same way.”

Brocklesby said Von Vogt phoned to informed him of his move to William Jessup, and told him he was interested in recruiting him to the Rocklin, Calif., school.

But Brocklesby said earlier this week that he is considering taking a few classes at Peninsula College starting in the fall, and then waiting until next year to select a school at which to continue his athletic career.

He also said he’s currently leaning toward track and field, since track coaches seem to be most interested in signing him to a letter of intent.

In his high school career, from his freshman to senior years, Brocklesby’s season-best high jump marks improved an entire foot.

Moore said that his jumps will go even higher if he competes in track and field at the collegiate level.

“Six-foot-6 is a very solid jump,” Moore said. “If he chooses track, I think he can do more.”

Brocklesby said one Oregon school’s track coaches told him he has the potential to reach almost 7 feet in the high jump, and decrease his 400 time to around 46 seconds.


Sports reporter/outdoors columnist Lee Horton can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at [email protected]

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