LaJarvia Brown gave it her finest effort Friday in the triple jump during the International Association of Athletic Federations World Youth Track Championships at Cali, Colombia.
Yet her personal-best leap of 41 feet, 9 inches wasn’t quite good enough to advance her to Saturday’s finals in international competition. Brown finished 14th in the elite field.
“She missed qualifying for the finals by three inches,” Alton High School girls’ track coach Terry Mitchell said. Brown’s distance was 12.74 meters, or just short of making it to the finals. Her previous best jump was 41-7.75 at the U.S. Junior Trials in Chicagoland last month.
Georgiana Juliana Anitel of Romania posted the best jump of 13.33 meters, or 43 feet, 6 inches in Cali. Tara Davis was the top U.S. triple jumper, going 13.11 meters. Brown was second among U.S. jumpers.
“We’re very proud of her,” Mitchell said. “In addition to being her personal-best ever jump, it’s the third-best jump in the U.S. this year.”
Mitchell added, “She was very close to qualifying for the finals and reaching her goal of 42 feet. So you can’t be mad about that.”
The 5-foot-3, 120-pound Brown also served as an alternate for the U.S. in the heptathlon, but didn’t get to participate in it. No fewer than 19 countries are competing in multiple events at Cali.
The ninth annual IAAF event is scheduled to conclude this weekend, Brown figures to return home early next week and continue her summer track competition.
A two-time IHSA champion in the triple jump, Brown now will set her sights on the upcoming World Junior Championships. They run Aug. 1-8 in Norfolk, Va. She will participate in the triple jump, long jump and 4x100-meter relay there.
“It’s great what she has done,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell is coordinating efforts with Brown to get local sponsorships for her trip to Norfolk. For more information, contact Mitchell at 578-8326.