While most Jaspers spent the first weekend in December preparing for college finals, sophomore Brenton Foster spent it by breaking a college record.
Foster is a member of the Manhattan College men’s track and field team. The Townsville, Australia native specializes in jumps and has competed in high jumps, long jumps and triple jumps during his time so far at the college.
However, on Saturday, Dec. 2, Foster not only competed in a high jump, but set a school record in one by recording a 2.24-meter jump (7’4¾ feet). With the jump, Foster broke Mohamed Koita’s record of 2.20 meters which was set in 2014.
The record-shattering performance was an exciting way to open up the 2017-2018 season as head coach Dan Mecca noted.
“If you’ve seen the video of it, you can hear the people cheering and that’s our team that were all in the stands watching him jump,” said Mecca. “They were all excited. I was, he was.”
While setting the record was fantastic in Mecca’s eyes, he made sure Foster stayed focused as he was attempting to record an even better jump.
“I actually tried to keep it a little bit calmer just to keep everything on an even keel for him because he was going to go to the next height,” said Mecca. “We put the bar up to 2.26 for the next height. That’s because the facility record is 2.25 and they wanted to break it.”
Foster’s performance landed him MAAC Performer of the Week honors for the first time in his career. The honor felt good for him, but looking at the big picture, he was glad to be able to help the team.
“That felt really good,” said Foster about being honored with MAAC Performer of the Week. “Being part of the MAAC and helping Manhattan to achieve points during our outdoor and indoor championships is really good. So to know that I’m the performer of the week really makes me feel good that I can get the points at the championships.”
Foster’s next jump came on Dec. 9 at the Yale Invitational in New Haven, Conn. He took home first place there with a 2.14-meter jump. His continued success into the new year by placing first at the Mike Massone Invitational at Fordham University with a 2.10-meter high jump.
Foster just missed another first-place victory in Staten Island at the Penn 8 Team Select meet on Jan. 13. Like the Mike Massone Invitational, Foster recorded a 2.10- meter high jump. However, his opponent Lance Yassay from Penn recorded the same 2.10 meters on his first try.
While Foster has been finding lots of success in the high jump during the season so far, things were not always as smooth for him according to his coach.
“Freshman year he had a tough year of transition coming from Australia to our system, to our training,” said Mecca. “He did well in the long jump, but not as well in the high jump. And this year you can see he’s really adapted to everything we’re doing and doing very well with it.”
Not only is Foster doing well individually, but he’s also leaving a positive impact on the entire track and field team as a whole. Even the runners who have different practice times as him view his overall performance as a boost to the team.
“I think if that attitude is spread throughout the team, we can all perform pretty well and do our best,” said senior Paige Chapman.
Junior Lisa Fajardo likewise views Foster’s success with the team as a plus.
“Having someone at that caliber is really inspiring and I’m so happy to be on the same team as somebody that can do that,” said Fajardo.
Records could last a lifetime or be broken again soon after they are set. For Foster he hopes it’s the latter.
“Hopefully,” said Foster on whether he thinks there is more to come. “[I’m] definitely working hard at it. Definitely putting in the effort to keep increasing it. Hopefully increase the record here.”
Being a sophomore, Foster still has plenty of time left to increase that record as well as leave an even bigger impact on the team than he has already.
“Oh yes definitely,” said Mecca on whether he feels there’s more to come for Foster. “I think he can go higher, I think he can jump with the best in the NCAA this year.”