Jenell Grier-Spratley had never cleared a jump higher than 5 feet 6 inches before Saturday.
But needing to beat that mark to claim sole possession of first place at the Southern Maryland Indoor Track Classic, the Edison junior attempted 5-8 — a height she’d never been able to clear before, even in practice.
As her legs lifted over the bar, the packed crowd at the Prince George’s County Sports & Learning Complex applauded and Grier-Spratley relished her achievement.
“My mouth dropped when I realized I got over the bar,” she said.
The jump set a meet record and gave Grier-Spratley the top mark for a Virginia girls’ high jumper this season. She attempted to clear 5-10 and was close to doing so on her second attempt.
Seneca Valley’s Tyatianna Johnson won both triple jump (36-6.75) and the long jump in a personal-best 17-7.
“As soon as I finished, my coach said, ‘Let’s go get 18,’ Johnson said. “Every single time I try to improve myself and get better.”
Blair’s Wynston Reed won the boys’ high jump by clearing 6-3, besting L.C. Bird’s Richard Anderson and Howard’s Trey Clark, both of whom cleared 6-2.
Huntingtown’s Shania Collins won both the 300-meter dash in a meet-record time of 39.7 seconds, and also took first in the 55-meter dash (7.17).
North Point, the host team for Saturday’s invitational, had two winners in the boys’ 55 meters and 55 hurdles. DeSean White posted a 6.52 in the 55 meters to edge Thomas Stone’s Keiron Morsell (6.62) and Gaithersburg’s Solomon Vault (6.65), and Eagles’ teammate Devon Gutrick ran a personal-best 7.65 to win the hurdles. After finishing second in the semifinal race, Gutrick was determined to beat the field to the first hurdle.
“I got there first and that basically held the lead for me,” Gutrick said. “I finished with a strong race.”
Lake Braddock’s boys’ and girls’ teams scored wins in the 4x800 relays. In the girls’ race, Hannah Christen took the stick from Madison Tippet and ran the Bruins out to a big lead in the second leg, with teammates Ally Robinson and Katy Kunc finishing off the win.
Alex Corbett anchored the Bruins’ boys relay team past strong charges from Oxon Hill and Douglass.
“I believe I was in third place when I got the stick, but I knew my team did enough for me to be able to catch the two guys in front,” Corbett said.
Competing in his first distance race of the indoor season, Edison’s Louis Colson pulled away late to win the 3200 meters in 9:30.75.