WICHITA, Kan.—Rossville senior Shannon Parr had a tough time high jumping at the Kansas State Track Meet this past spring. Parr was the second-best high jumper in Class 3A coming in with a best of five-feet-six-inches, but this spring she was only able to clear 5-2 and had to settle finishing for a tie for third.
On Friday at the Junior Olympics, Parr returned to the site of her disappointment at Cessna Stadium and buried the memory of the state meet with a second-place finish in the Young Women’s division of the high jump.
"It was kind of symbolic because at state this year I didn't jump very well. It is just a big relief off of my shoulders to come here and redeem myself," Parr said.
She not only took second, but tied a personal best in the process at five-foot-seven.
“I had a good week of practice two weeks ago and I was expecting to do well. I wasn't sure if I was going to hit five (foot) seven because that is my PR (personal best),” Parr said. "I am definitely surprised."
Brigham wins national championship
Kansas has had some of the nation’s best girls’ pole vaulters in recent years. On Friday of the Junior Olympics, Mill Valley junior Emily Brigham staked her claim as the next great thing in Kansas High School pole vaulting.
Brigham is a known commodity as she is already tied for eighth on the all-time list in pole vaulting in Kansas, but on Friday she put her name on the national scene with a national title in the Intermediate Girls Pole Vault.
Brigham knew the competition would be tough going into Friday.
"I didn't (expect to win). There were three of us tied for second coming in," Brigham said.
The competition remained close throughout, and Brigham won on misses with a clearance of 11-7.75. Bonnie Draxler also cleared that same height, but Brigham took the tiebreak.
The Mill Valley junior still has much room to improve as pole vaulting is still a relatively new thing for her. Her freshman year was the first time she began pole vaulting, but it is something that she has always been enamored with.
"I'd always gone to track meets when I was little and I would just go sit in front of the pole vault, so I've always been bugging my dad about it. Then I finally found a gym to go to and went from there," Brigham said of her start in pole vaulting.
The title is the first major win for Brigham and she hopes to add a State Title to her accolades next season.
Notes from Friday
- Blue Valley West’s Brian Beckmann unleashed a throw of 166-10 in the Young Men’s discus to take eighth place and earn All-American honors.
- Wichita Northwest’s Deron Thompson and Wichita’s Oliver Bradwell both advanced to the finals of the 100-meter dash to be contested on Sunday.
- A two-hour and 15-minute rain delay pushed the meet well off schedule, but the cooler temperatures were welcomed by all at the meet.