by Ricky Quintana
6-foot high jump likely, class record holders in PV, defending TJ champ and meet record holder Erica McLain
The girls’ jumps should be highly competitive with many nationally ranked competitors attending. Below is an event-by-event preview:
Girls High Jump
Not since Chaunte Howard (JW North, Riverside, CA) in 2002 has the AOC high jump seen a 6-00 performance. This year’s field includes three performers who have cleared that height and they are all underclassmen.
Epley Bullock (Allen, TX)- In the best high jump competitions this season, the Texas 5A state meet, Bullock, cleared 6-00. That was good enough for second place as three jumpers cleared 6-00. Bullock, a sophomore, also took second at the Texas Relays and finished 3 rd at the Great Southwest Classic. She is currently tied for the 3 rd best height in the country.
Patience Coleman (Durham, NC)- The frosh scaled 6-00 in a dual meet earlier this season before going on to win the 3A state championship with a clearance of 5-08.
Inika McPherson (Memorial, Port Arthur, TX)- The junior also cleared 6-00 at the Texas 5A state championships. That was good enough for 3 rd. McPherson finished 2 nd at the Great Southwest Classic clearing 5-10.
Girls Pole Vault
The pole vault continues to get better each year. This year’s competition has three of the top ranked vaulters in the country. The meet record of 13-01.50 set by Lacy Janson (Cardinal Mooney, Sarasota, FL) in 2001 has been bested by two of the entrants and will definitely be threatened.
Tiffany Maskulinski (Iroquois, Elma, NY)- Junior Maskulinski broke the state and meet record at the NYSPHSAA state championships June 4. Her best height, 13-05, is a national leader and the best mark ever for the junior class. She also owns the #2 best jump this season. Remarkably, Maskulinski cleared only 12-02 last indoor season.
Lindsay Regan (Easton, PA)- The sophomore has also made huge improvements this year upping her best by 9.75 inches. She set a personal best of 13-02 this season, which is the 4 th best jump for US high schoolers. She won the prestigious Penn Relays and the PA 3A state championship. She also was runner-up at the NIC Championships. Last year she finished 15 th at the AOC.
Anna McFarlane (Concord, MA)- The Stanford signee is the top returner from last year’s competition, 3rd place. She won a record 4 MIAA class meet titles.
Girls Long Jump
The long jump will be one of the most wide-open events with 7 jumpers within 4 inches of each other.
Angela Wells (Simon Gratz, Philadelphia, PA)- Wells set the Philadelphia Public League Girls meet record with her 19-08.75 jump. She also finished 3 rd at the NIC on March 20.
Erica McClain (Plano, TX)- McClain has been a dominant figure in the triple jump, but has had some success in the long jump as well. She was TX 5A state runner-up, 3 rd at last year’s AOC, 2 nd at the NIC and won the Great Southwest Classic in her most recent outing.
Tahari James (Branford, CT)- Connecticut is not known for it’s long jumpers, but James has opened some eyes outside the state with her state meet record jump of 19-08 at the Connecticut Open Champs. She’ll attend Boston University next year.
Girls Triple Jump
The nation’s #2 jumper and defending champion, Erica McClain (Plano, TX) will be the one to watch in this event. She has major wins at the NIC Championships, The Texas Relays, Arcadia Invitational, the Texas 5A state meets and the Great Southwest Invitational. The Arcadia win bested the national leader, Brittany Daniels (Merrill West, Tracy, CA). Her legal best is 43-02.25, which ranks her 5th best performer all-time in the US. She has a slightly wind-aided best of 44-03.5 inches this season. The meet record of 43-01 was set by McClain at last year’s championship.
Crystal Manning (Dallas, TX)- Manning had a best of 41-05 this season, but did not qualify for the Texas state championships. She finished 2 nd at the Texas Relays and will attend Kansas University next year.
LeeAndrea Robinson (Dallas, TX)- Robinson won the Texas 4A state championships.