CAMARILLO — He has won every title available to him and is undefeated outdoors, yet Jeremy Fischer has been unable to top one opponent this season.
The unbeaten adversary is not an individual. Rather it is the state high school record of 7 feet 4 1/2 inches in the high jump set by Maurice Crumby of San Francisco Balboa High in 1983.
Fischer, a June graduate of Camarillo High, appeared to be the heir apparent to Crumby after clearing a region record of 7-4 in the Santa Barbara Easter Relays in March, but that remains his personal best entering today's junior (age 19 and under) meet among the United States, Canada, Cuba, Jamaica and Japan at State University of New York at Buffalo.
"To be honest with you, we thought we'd have the state record by now," Camarillo Coach Dennis Riedmiller said. "In fact, I thought he had it in Florida. I still don't know how he knocked the bar off."
Fischer cleared 7-2 1/2 to win the USA Track & Field Junior championships at Florida State last month before missing three times at 7-5. He came so close to making the height on his second attempt that Riedmiller said afterward that he was "still trying to find the thread on his uniform" which dislodged the bar.
The Wisconsin-bound Fischer, who is regarded as a high school athlete for record purposes until August 31, does not appear overly concerned with topping Crumby's record.
Although he'd like to break it--and figures he has a good chance at doing so--he doesn't feel he has to for the season to be a success.
"It'd be nice to say that Jeremy Fischer is the best jumper to have come out of California," he said. "But I'm not going to be all depressed if I don't do it. . . . Just to have had some decent chances at the record is an honor."
Fischer has taken 15 jumps this season at heights which would have broken or equaled the state record.
After clearing 7-4 in Santa Barbara, he missed three times at 7-5 1/2. He did likewise after making 7-3 at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in April.
He won the Southern Section Division I title at 7-2 1/4 in May before missing three attempts at 7-4 3/4, and he missed three times at 7-4 1/2 after winning last month's Golden West Invitational at 7-2.
Then came the national junior championships and the three misses at 7-5.
"Out of those 15 jumps, seven or eight have been close," Riedmiller said. "There were two or three jumps when I definitely thought he had made it."
A bruised quadriceps on Fischer's left leg, the one on which he plants before jumping, contributed to a mild slump during which he cleared only 6-8 in three invitational meets in a row. But he's cleared 7 feet or higher in seven consecutive finals since.
"I think I'm building back up again," Fischer said. "The injury hurt my chances of peaking in June, but it really doesn't bother me any more. I think I'm definitely capable of getting a (personal record) in the next two meets."
Fischer will probably need a personal best to win the World Junior Championships July 20-24 in Lisbon, Portugal.
Jagan Hames of Australia has cleared 7-6 this season and Jordi Rofee of Spain has scaled 7-4, but Fischer doesn't mind the unusual position of being an underdog. In fact, he figures it will help.
"I think I'll have to (set a personal record) to win and that's good," Fischer said. "I think that will push me. I think that will motivate me. . . . I'd really love to win the World championships. That would be cool."
It would be doubly cool if he broke the state record in the process.