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Chargers’ Bonilla Hoping to Land Final Leap at State Championships

Wilcox Chargers’ three-sport star Tyson Bonilla is hoping his final high school long jump will take place at the CIF State Championship meet later this month. The soon-to-be 2024 high school grad also played football and basketball for the Chargers and is set to finish his Chargers athletic career in the sand pit. Earlier this season, Bonilla broke the school record with his PR jump of 23 feet, 6 inches at the Arcadia meet in Southern California.

“The kid who is number one in state, we saw him at Arcadia, we saw him at Stanford, and both meets Tyson finished second to him,” chimed Wilcox Head Coach for Track and Field, Lisan Douglas. “So, I told him that’s not a bad person to get second to. Each time you saw him, you rose to the occasion. You have PR’d, and he has PR’d.”

Rising to the occasion seems to be in Bonilla’s athletic nature given his experience in the other sports, particularly basketball.


“There is definitely crossover value between sports,” confirmed Douglas when asked about the benefit of playing multiple sports. “Especially with basketball the way you jump off of one leg, same thing when he does a layup. I went to one of the games, and he went up for a block, and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s gonna have a good year.’”

So, how did Bonilla get into the long jump?

“My sophomore year, one day at practice I just decided to practice it out,” chuckled Bonilla, who also competes in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. “My first jump was about an 18’-9” and I wasn’t sure if that was good or not.”

Two years later, Bonilla has added nearly five feet to his distance and has big goals for the end of season meets.

“My main goal going into this year was to hit that 23 mark and I surpassed that. Now my goal is to get to 24. I think that would open up a lot of opportunities both in state and out of state collegiate wise.”

Bonilla hopes to finish first at CCS and then ideally place in state, if not win the long jump outright as the No. 1 high school jumper in all of California. The Wilcox senior admitted to hitting a bit of a wall in recent weeks with all the athletic work he’s put in throughout the school year. However, when talking with Coach Douglas, it seems like the bright lights of the big tournaments is where he thrives the most. Perhaps another crossover advantage from the football and basketball experience.

“We were just talking about it the other day. I was telling him you’re very good under pressure,” noted Douglas. “When we were at Stanford, it started pouring rain. It was his last jump, and it was his best jump. At Arcadia, he was battling neck and neck with one of his opponents, and each time, the next jump was a big jump. So, I was telling him he’s very good under pressure and then someone was explaining to me about one of the football games they had, at quarterback, the last minute, the game on the line you have to make that big throw. He’s very good at focusing and executing under pressure and I definitely think that comes from football.”


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