GRANITE CITY – The beat bounced on for Alton’s LaJarvia Brown.
The gifted junior won two events and established a pair of records Wednesday during the Southwestern Conference girls’ track meet at Memorial Stadium.
Brown set meet marks in the long jump (18 feet, 1 inch) and the triple jump (39-1.5). She also ran her personal-best time of 43.78 seconds in the 300-meter low hurdles, but finished second to Miyah Dorsey of Belleville East. Dorsey won the race in a record time of 43.70.
“It was a good race,” Brown said of the heated hurdles chase. “I like it when it’s back and forth. I run my best then.”
She was at the top of her game in winning her two jumps.
“I’m satisfied with that because I wanted to win both races and set records in both of them,” Brown said. “So I was happy with what I did today.”
O’Fallon’s Panthers were glad all over about their performance. They scored 180.5 points to easily capture their third consecutive conference championship. Belleville East placed second with 108 points and Edwardsville took third with 104 points.
“We expect to win it, but we are humble about it,” said O’Fallon distance runner Tammy Cardenas, winner of the 800-meters in 2:18.91. “I couldn’t get here without my team.”
The senior is originally from Alton, but moved to O’Fallon before her freshman year.
East St. Louis (93.5 points), Alton (71), Granite City (45), Belleville West (42) and Collinsville (28) completed the team scoring.
“We did about what I expected we would do,” Alton coach Terry Mitchell said. “We had some disappointments, but we did some good things.”
Freshman Katie Mans continued her winning ways in the high jump by prevailing at 5-5. Teammate Jewel Wagner took second in the shot with a throw of 40-3.5.
“It feels good to win it,” Mans said of being a conference champ. “I’ve been in a rut in clearing 5-4 lately. That's why I went to 5-5 today. My goal is to go to state and place. I think to win state it'll take a jump of 5-8 and that's doable."
Wagner led in the shot until Aaliyah Herron of East St. Louis won it with a record throw of 42-10 on her last attempt.
“I wanted to get first place,” Wagner said. “I’m trying to get to 41 feet and go to state.”
Area Class 3A teams will get that opportunity on Friday, May 15, at the O’Fallon Sectional. The three-class IHSA finals run May 21-23 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
“We still have room for improvement and a week to get there,” Mitchell said of the sectional competition.
Alexis James added to Alton’s effort by placing fourth in the discus. The Redbirds’ 4x100-meter relay, anchored by Brown, finished fourth.
Catherine Jakich and Robyn Pointer boosted Granite City’s sixth-place showing. Jakich took third in the shot (40-0) and the discus (124-3). Pointer ran second in the 200-meters (26.13).
“That was my personal-best throw in the shot and I’m happy about that,” Jakich said. “It’s always good to get a PR near the end of the season. My goals now are to go to state in both events.”
Warriors’ coach Becky Cook was thrilled with Pointer’s dash in the 200-meters. Belleville East’s Sidne Williamson (25.51) won it.
“Robyn has run faster than that, but today she was coming back from a hamstring injury,” Granite City coach Becky Cook said. “She was happy with finishing second in the conference and we were excited to have her back.”
SWC GIRLS TRACK
(At Granite City)
O’Fallon 180.5, Belleville East 108, Edwardsville 104, East St. Louis 93.5, Alton 71, Granite City 45, Belleville West 42, Collinsville 28
High Jump – Mans, Alton, 5-5; Long Jump – Brown, Alton, 18-1. (Sets meet record. Old mark was 17-5 by Begany, O’Fallon, 2006); Triple Jump – Brown, Alton 39-1.5 (Sets meet record. Old mark was 37-0 by Marshall, Collinsville, 2014); Pole Vault – Romano, Edwardsville, 8-0; Discus –Clark, Edwardsville, 87-6; Shot – Herron, East St. Louis, 42-10 (Sets meet record. Old mark was 41-11.5 by Covington, Edwardsville, 2014); 4x800-meter relay – Edwardsville, 9:44.2; 4x100-meter relay – O’Fallon, 49.07; 3,200-meters – Tidwell, O’Fallon, 11:53.68; 100-meters – Douglas, O’Fallon, 12.91; 100-meter high hurdles – Dorsey, Belleville East, 15.57; 800-meters – Cardenas, O’Fallon, 2:21.36; 4x200-meter relay – O’Fallon, 1:44.58; 400 meters – Marshall, Collinsville, 1:02.01; 300-meter low hurdles – Dorsey, Belleville East, 43.7 (Sets meet record. Old mark was 45.85 by Dowell, Edwardsville, 2014); 1,600-meters – Gilster, O’Fallon, 5:16.78; 200-meters – Williamson, Belleville East, 25.51; 4x400-meter relay – O’Fallon, 3:58.68 (Sets meet record. Old mark was 3:58.71 by O’Fallon, 2014).