Next stop is the nationals for Alton High track sensation LaJarvia Brown, already a state champion.
The junior-to-be has qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics, set for July 26 through Aug. 2, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The Olympics are essentially the national championships.
She earned her spot in the nationals by faring well in the recent AAU Junior Olympic tryouts at University City, Mo. Brown, the IHSA Class 3A state champion in the triple jump, leaped 38 feet, 8 inches to win her division (ages 15-16) in the Junior Olympic tryouts.
She also soared 17-6 to finish first in the long jump. Brown, a sixth-place IHSA finisher in the long jump the past spring, will participate in the long jump on July 30 at Drake. That’ll follow triple jump competition on July 29.
At University City, it was Brown competing for the Ultimate Speed Academy team from St. Louis that includes 9-year-old Jordan Lumpkin. His dad, Jamie, previously coached at AHS and Jordan is going to the nationals in multiple events.
Mitchell said Brown’s performance at the tryouts was a gritty one.
“LaJarvia was injured in a basketball game on Saturday, June 21, in a tournament in St. Louis,” he said. “I didn’t think she would be able to participate in tryouts.
He added, “But she worked hard to prepare herself for the meet and we talked about her jumping off her good foot. She did so in the meet.”
Brown is ranked eighth in the nation for the triple jump and first in her age division. And Brown, AdVantage News’ Female Track Athlete of the Year, is seeking backing for her trip to Iowa.
“LaJarvia will need to secure some sponsors to help support her trip to the Junior Olympics,” Mitchell said.
“I’d like to solicit the help of some of our area merchants or track enthusiasts to help her achieve this remarkable dream of competing at the Junior Nationals, and possibly winning the Junior Olympics.”
For details, contact Mitchell at (618) 578-8326.