LaJarvia Brown’s summer track competition seems to be as busy as her spring one. And the senior at Alton High School hopes it’s equally successful.
Brown, the two-time Class 3A IHSA girls’ triple jump state champion, has qualified for the AAU Nationals and is seeking a berth in the Junior Olympics.
“She has been a busy young lady,” Alton High girls’ coach Terry Mitchell said.
The past weekend, Brown finished first in the long jump and was a member of the Ultimate Speed’s second-place 4x100-meter relay team during an AAU qualifier in St. Louis. She leaped 18 feet, 7 inches to win the long jump and anchored her team’s time of 48.7 seconds in the 4x1.
Thus, she qualified for the AAU Nationals, set for Aug. 1-8 in Norfolk, Va. In addition, Brown automatically advanced in the triple jump, thanks to her previous performances this year. She couldn’t compete in the triple jump at University City, Mo., because she was participating in a Chicagoland meet.
This week, Brown is in Chicago to test her skills in the world qualifier for the Junior Olympics. She’s competing in the triple jump and heptathlon on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“If she qualifies in those events for the Junior Olympics, she will become a member of the USA Junior Olympic team,” Mitchell said. The Junior Olympians go to Cali, Colombia, from July 9-21 to participate in the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Youth Championships.
Mitchell added, “LaJarvia has a very big week ahead of her and some ambitious goals to achieve in the upcoming weeks.”
In May, she soared 41-2 to win the IHSA 3A triple jump crown. Brown won it with an effort of 40-3.5 in 2014. She also took fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles at 44.31 and sixth in the long jump at 18-3 to account for 19 of Alton’s 24.5 points. The Redbirds finished eighth at state, their best showing in school history.
Earlier this season, Brown leaped an all-time IHSA best 41-6.25 in the triple jump. Then Brown went 41-6.75 in the event during the AAU Midwest Nationals in Las Cruces, N.M. She also bounded 19-2.5 in the long jump.
“There has been a lot going for her since the end of the track season,” Mitchell said. “She got to go to New Mexico and then has played in some (summer) basketball tournaments.”
Brown, a 5-foot-3, 120-pound guard, figures to be the centerpiece for the AHS girls’ basketball team this winter. She averaged a team-best 14.7 points for the 5-22 Redbirds and was a first-team, all-Southwestern Conference selection. Brown also won the girls’ free throw shooting award at the Alton Exchange Club’s 70th Players of the Year banquet.