The Bee did this story on Rhesa Foster hwo is 16 years old and won a bronze medal at the Nanjing Youth Olympics.

Way to Go Rhesa!


Clovis North High's Rhesa Foster, one of the most accomplished long jumpers in Central Section history, has extended her impact internationally.

The 16-year-old soared a personal-record 20 feet, 3 inches, to place third in the Youth Olympic Games Saturday at Nanjing, China.

"It's a great feeling, especially to medal with a PR - it's really exciting," Foster said in a release from USA Track & Field.

The first American to medal in a track and field event at these Games, she placed behind Ukraine's Yelyzaveta Baby (20-6½) and Italy's Beatrice Fiorese (20-4½) at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

"I was hoping to get the 21-footer to win the gold," Foster said. "That's what I've been working for all summer, but I did the best I could and I'm happy with the result."

Her medal follows a sixth-place swimming effort by Clovis West graduate Justin Wright in the 200 butterfly at the two-week Games, which will close Thursday.

Foster is the daughter of Robert Foster, a 1994 Fresno State indoor and outdoor national champion hurdler and two-time Olympian for Jamaica, where he was born.

Dad, mother Elisa and younger brother Caleb were present Saturday.

"As my coach, my dad always has some technical pointers," the daughter said, "but both of my parents told me to enjoy the experience, to go out there, have fun and do my best."

Rhesa Foster is a two-time Bee All-Star Outstanding Field Events performer and two-time Central Section champion in the long jump.

She arrived at China ranked fourth all-time in the section at 19-10½.

She now remains No. 4, but closing, behind Riverdale's Doralee Roberts (20-7, 1971), West's Kam Warner (20-6¼, '93) and Clovis' Jenna Prandini (20-4¼, 2011).

Foster will begin her junior year at Clovis North on Monday.

Ron Blackwood, the section historian for track and field, said her mark in China will be recorded as a junior because many other high schools in the section already are in session.

Consequently, Foster has overtaken Prandini (20-2, 2010) as the section's No. 1 jumper for the junior class.

In the spring, Foster also became the section's No. 1 jumper for the sophomore class at 19-6¾. And she's also No. 2 behind Roberts (20-7, 1971) for the freshman class.

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