LaJarvia Brown now has a national championship to add to her growing portfolio of track accomplishments.
The Alton High senior leaped a personal-best 19 feet, 6.25 inches to finish first in her age division (17-18 girls) during the AAU Junior Olympics action Monday in Norfolk, Va. Her previous top long jump was 19-4 during heptathlon competition earlier this summer at the AAU Midwest Regional in Las Cruces, N.M.
“She goes on and on,” marveled Alton High girls’ track coach Terry Mitchell. “She’s really something.”
Sekayi Bracey of Grand Rapids, Mich., finished second with a jump of 19-5.5 and Taylor Deloach of Savannah, Ga., took third by going 19-2. Only three jumpers surpassed 19 feet.
Brown will compete Wednesday in the triple jump and run a leg Friday in the 4x100-meter relay at the nationals. She’s eyeing a national title in the triple jump.
Last month, Brown competed in the triple jump at the International Association of Athletic Federations World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia and finished 14th overall. Her personal-best jump of 41-9 was second among the U.S. competitors.
Three months ago, the 5-foot-3 Brown claimed her second Class 3A IHSA triple jump championship by soaring 41-2 at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. She also won the 2014 state title with a jump of 40-3.5.
“This competition at the AAU Nationals will be good for her,” Mitchell said, looking ahead to the triple jump and relay events.