VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – One look at Steven Dunbar flying over the high jump bar and you might think the Tallwood senior has springs in his legs.
“Yeah, I kind of do. When I go to national track meets, most of the jumpers are like 6’3″ or 6’4″, and I am like 6’1″, so I have to really prove myself each time out,” said Dunbar.
Dunbar cleared 7 feet and 1 inch during the indoor season. It is the highest jump this year by a high school jumper in the nation.
“You know when nobody else in the country is jumping higher than you, it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Dunbar.
Dunbar also excels in the long jump, where he has covered a distance of 23 feet and 8 inches. He says when he’s jumping, he tries not to think too much about each effort.
“There’s really nothing going through my mind except getting over that bar, because that’s all that really matters,” he explained.
Dunbar got his start playing basketball, where he was spotted high above the rim in a dunking contest.
“My coach saw me at a winter pep rally and my coach told me I should be a high jumper. I didn’t know what high jumping was,” said Dunbar.
Next year, Dunbar will begin his jumping career at the University of North Carolina. He says it has always been a dream of his to compete for the Tar Heels.
“I’ve wanted to go to Carolina since I was 5 years old and it’s an awesome feeling knowing that I will be wearing that Carolina blue. I know I can make an immediate impact right away for the Tar Heels.”
Dunbar’s track coach, John Parker says he thinks his relentless work ethic will lead to success jumping in the competitive ACC.
“The track coaches at Carolina are going to find that if they do not lock the facility, Steven will be jumping there all by himself deep into the night,” said Parker.