CHARLESTON — LaJarvia Brown of Alton is closing in on another IHSA triple jump championship in girls’ state track.
The junior, the defending IHSA Class 3A champ in the triple jump, owns the best jump after the first day of competition Friday at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium.
Brown leaped 39 feet, 8 inches to put her ahead of Romeoville’s Cierra Pulliam, second at 39-7.75, following the preliminaries. Finals in all events are scheduled Saturday, though Friday’s distances in the long and triple jumps, plus the shot and discus, count in the final placement process.
Last year, Brown became the first AHS girl to win a state title by finishing first in the triple jump at 40-3.5. She already has soared 41-6.25 this season, the all-time best in Illinois annals.
If she wins the state triple jump again, she will become the first Alton High trackster to do that since Larry Perry finished first in the boys’ long jump during the 1974 and 1975 seasons.
In addition, Brown is sitting fifth in the long jump at 18-3 and she’s fourth in the 300-meter low hurdles with a time of 44.23 seconds. Briana Driver of Chicago Mother McAuley is the long jump leader at 19-7. Grace Cronin of Oak Park Fenwick posted the best preliminaries time of 43.79 in the low hurdles. Miya Dorsey of Belleville East is second at 44.0.
Freshman Katie Mans of AHS was one of 19 individuals to clear 5-3 in the high jump and advance to Saturday’s finals. Mans has gone 5-5 this season.
Catherine Jakich of Granite City and Jewel Wagner of Alton are making strong bids for successful showings in the shot put.
Jakich, a senior, is sitting in second place with a throw of 41-8.75 and Wager, a junior, is sixth at 40-9.75. Wagner’s effort is a school record. Aaliah Herron of East St. Louis is the leader with a heave of 42-2.75.
Sprinter Robyn Pointer of Granite City just missed qualifying for the finals of the 200-meters. The sophomore ran it in 25.80, and it took a time of 24.66 to advance into Saturday’s finals.