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Friday, February 03, 2012

Deon Pinder Merrill West HS to Oklahoma University

From the Tracy Press and the following link:

Deon Pinder

The West High senior had a few choices among school that would offer him scholarships to play football or join their track and field teams. He chose a track and field scholarship at the NCAA Division I University of Oklahoma, where he plans to continue his development as a long jumper and triple jumper.

Pinder has made his mark on the West High track and field team with repeat trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet. He also competed in the Junior Olympics as a member of Beast Athletic Performance, led by West track and field coach T.J. Williams.

During the June 2011 National Junior Olympics in Eugene, Oregon, Pinder gained the attention of college track and field coach Chris Huffins, who was coaching another competitor at the event.

It turned out that Huffins was recruiting athletes for his new job at University of Oklahoma, and he invited Pinder to check out the campus in Norman.

“When I made the visit the campus was really nice,” Pinder said. “Coach Huffins is a really good coach, and I really think that’s my best opportunity to do something big.”

He said it looked better than other offers he had, including a chance to play football at Sacramento State University.

Pinder also holds a place in the West High record books for a triple jump of 48 feet, 4 inches at the 2011 Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet at Sacramento City College last May. The jump, his first attempt of the day, automatically qualified him for last year’s CIF state meet, and gained him a silver medal at the section meet.

His experience at West, Pinder said, is what directed him to pursue track and field as his top sport.

“I get a whole lot of support from the community at West High,” he said. “Coach Williams really pushed me to where I need to be, and I always trust in him to get me to the top, and that’s what he did for me.”

Read more: Tracy Press - Local seniors commit to 2012 13 college plans 

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