Two-time state track champion LaJarvia Brown saved her best jumps for the Land of Enchantment -- better known as New Mexico -- the past weekend.
The Alton High School senior-to-be set a pair of personal bests during the AAU Midwest Nationals in Las Cruces, N.M., home of New Mexico State.
She leaped 41 feet, 6.75 inches to win the triple jump in the girls’ age 17-18 competition. That surpassed her all-time Illinois best of 41-6.25, established earlier this season.
Brown, participating for the Ozark Midwest AAU team of Illinois and Missouri, also soared 18-7 in the individual long jump and took fifth. Then she outdid that in the long jump action during the heptathlon competition by going 19-2.5. Her previous best in the long jump was 19-0.25.
“She had a great weekend,” AHS girls’ coach Terry Mitchell said.
Teammate Jewel Wagner, another senior-to-be, finished 15th in the shot put.
There’s more Brown heroics.
While competing in the heptathlon (seven events), she finished third overall. Her events and times/distances were: shot put (29-2), 100-meter high hurdles (15.33 seconds), 200-meters (25.79), javelin (74-8), 800-meters (2:30.0), high jump (5-3.5) and long jump (19-2.5).
“LaJarvia said she wanted to try the heptathlon to see what she could do,” Mitchell said. “And she did very well.”
The AAU Midwest Nationals showcased the top individuals from a dozen states.
Brown won the Class 3A IHSA triple jump at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston this spring by going 41-2. It was her second straight title in that event, making her only the third AHS trackster to accomplishment back-to-back championship feats in the same individual events. The other two were boys – Larry Perry in the long jump (1974-75) and John Enos in the pole vault (1907-08).
In addition, Brown finished fifth in the 300-meter low hurdles (44.31) and sixth in the long jump (18-3) to account for 19 of the Redbirds’ 24.5 points at O’Brien Stadium. They finished eighth as a team, their best state finals performance in school history.