Deborah Samson first Filipina over 4 meters

Deborah Samson

Deborah Samson

Long before Natalie Uy. Another Fil-Heritage women’s jumper had the Philippines Record.

Through Deborah Samson’s efforts, and took the Philippine Record for the first time beyond 4 meters.

High School Career

Deborah Samson was from Los Angeles and attended the University of Santa Barbara.

Born in 1982, She attended Mayfair High School and held the CIF Division 3 Record in Pole Vault with a leap of 3.65m.

She qualified for the CIF twice, finishing 8th as a senior.

She also played Volleyball and Basketball in High school

A mark set as a junior is above the existing Filipino Record of 3.55m set by Emily Obiena.

But not counted as she hadn’t acquired a Filipino passport at the time. 

In 2000 at the Big West Championships, she placed in the top 8 and 2nd at the Big West Challenge, improving to 3.67m.

She improved to 3.68m in 2001, finishing 2nd at the conference championships. 

After slow years of improvement, she raised her high school record to 3.96m. In addition, Deborah competed in relays, long, triple, and high jump to help out her team.

2004 National Open

Deborah first showed her intention of competing for the Philippines at the 2004 National Open, part of a large contingent of 13 Fil-Heritage athletes.

Deborah Samson, a comely Fil-American, cleared 3.30 meters to top the women’s pole vault in record-breaking fashion Friday at the close of the National Open invitational track and field championships. 

She thus broke the two-year-old mark by Marestella Torres, who, along with the excited crowd, stayed until the competition ended in the four-day meet that produced a total of five national records.


“I can certainly go higher but that’s all I could get today,” said the 22-
year-old Samson, who is hands down the best find among the seven FilAms who saw action here


Samson appeared tentative during the warm-ups before she matched Torres’ 3.0-m record on her first try.

The University of California Santa Barbara communications graduate said she was affected by the condition of her mother Elsa, who suffered a stroke last week upon arriving in the country.

“I was jumping for her,” said Samson, who placed third in last year’s NCAA West Regionals with a 4.12-m effort. She was goaded at the stands by relatives who came from Cavite, her father’s birthplace.


The women’s pole vault was the last event of the competition, but people stayed, hoping to witness Samson at least match her 4.12-m personal best, which is very close to the Asian Games mark of 4.35m. The SEAG record is 3.90m.

But, despite the extended warm-ups, Samson needed two tries to clear 3.30m.
She had the bar raised to 3.50m but failed thrice.

SEA Games and College

The 2005 SEA Games were disappointing for Deborah Samson, who failed to meet expectations, finishing a disappointing 4th place.

At the 2007 SEA Games, Deborah Samson finished silver behind Rosalinda Samsu with a 3.90m leap. 

Deborah Samson set the Philippine Record of 4.11m at the 2008 California Regionals that stood for 11 years before Natalie Uy broke it.



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