EDWARDSVILLE – She truly soared into orbit, somewhere near the stratosphere.
LaJarvia Brown made magic Wednesday.
The starry Alton High junior leaped an all-time IHSA best 41 feet, 6.25 inches in the triple jump at the 12-team Tiger Relays. Brown’s jump shattered the previous top Illinois jump of 41-5, set by Decatur MacArthur’s Deana Simmons in 1996.
It’s also one of the best jumps nationally thus far this season.
“The jump felt great,” said Brown, the defending Class 3A state champion in the triple jump. “It felt smooth and I knew it would be 40 feet or better.
“Anything above 40 feet is magic.”
She had gone 40-5 earlier this season, but the one jump at the Winston Brown Track and Field Complex at Edwardsville High proved special. In fact, she passed on her final two triple jump tries after making her record-setting first attempt.
“It’s pretty amazing. I’m just shocked because I didn’t think I would do it today,” Brown said. “I’m blessed.”
AHS coach Terry Mitchell added, “Her jump looked really good when she took it and it turned out great.”
Brown also won the long jump by going 18-3.5 and finished first in the 300-meter low hurdles in 44.94 seconds. She also ran the second leg on the AHS 4x100-meter relay that that finished seventh in 51.17.
“It’s my best day of the season so far,” Brown said.
Freshman teammate Katie Mans finished first in the high jump at 5-2 as the Redbirds scored 66 points and took fourth. O’Fallon tallied 123 points and snared the team title. East St. Louis finished second with 90 points and Edwardsville placed third with 75 points.
“It’s a little different for me this season, but things are going well,” Mans said of competing at the high school level. “Things are a lot tougher, so you have to push yourself a little more.”
Chayvon Buckingham of the Redbirds finished fifth in the shot at 37-8.75 and teammate Jewel Wagner was sixth at 37-6. Alexis James of AHS placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 112-4.
In addition, the sprint medley foursome of Tyriss Holloway, Jalisa Casey, Rylee Davis and Mans nabbed a fifth in 1:57.45.
East St. Louis thrower Aaliyah Herron doubled her fun by winning the shot at 42-5.5 and the discus at 131-9. O’Fallon finished first in four relay events and the Panthers’ Sam Tidwell snagged first in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:42.30.
Other teams and scores were: Belleville East (65 points), Cahokia (54), Mount Vernon (42), Centralia (41), Belleville West (37), Quincy (35), Belleville Althoff (18) and Hazelwood Central (16).
The Redbirds will play host to the Alton Girls Invite on Thursday, April 23, at Public School Stadium. Mitchell figures at least 10 schools will compete on Wigger Track. O’Fallon and East St. Louis likely will stage a fight for the team title. Edwardsville and Alton could push them.
Cahokia, Triad, Granite City, Hazelwood Central, North Tech and Miller Academy are expected to compete and Marquette Catholic may participate.