MOUNT VERNON — Leevi Stump fell just inches shy — literally — of a trip to the state track and field tournament in 2011.
This year, the Mount Vernon senior is taking steps to make up that distance.
Through the cold wind and persistent rain on Saturday, Stump managed to lead all long jumpers with a leap of 19 feet, 11 inches at the Mount Vernon Rotary Yellow Jacket Relays.
Due to the adverse conditions, the jump wasn’t close to his 21-1 attempt at last year’s regionals. However, he has already managed a jump of 21-3 this season, and if jumps continue to improve, a trip to state may finally be in the cards.
“I’m hoping,” Stump said, following his final jump on Saturday. “This time last year, I was jumping 19 (feet) consistently. Now, every meet so far, I’ve been jumping 20s. And last week, I popped a 21, and that’s kind of early, so hopefully I peak when I’m supposed to.”
Stump was also part of the other first-place finish for the Yellow Jacket boys. He joined Dakota Chapman, Brandon Ruhl and Zach Foster in a victory in the 4x200 relay with a time of 1:36.24.
Chapman came in third in the high jump with a jump of 5-foot-10. Jordan Crabtree was third as an individual in the discus (121-5). The Jackets’ 4x400 and 4x1,600 relays also finished third.
The Mount Vernon boys finished fourth out of seven Division I teams with 62 points. New Albany finished first with 99 1/2.
The Mount Vernon girls fared better as a team, coming in second out of six Division I teams. The Jackets’ 82 points finished behind only Ashland (110). Mount Vernon’s Emily Miglin had the best discus throw among all Division I girls with a distance of 105-9. Brianne Presley had the best long jump (14-11) while teammate Katelyn Henthorn came in third (14-0).
Presley and Sierra Silverwood tied for second in the high jump (4-6). Madi Phillips came in third in the pole vault (8-0). The girls’ 4x800 relay team came in second (11:38.54) as did the 4x100 shuttle hurdlers (1:16.35), while the 4x400, 1600 sprint medley and distance medley relays finished third.
The cold and rainy weather meant there would be no meet records broken — or even approached — on Saturday.
“It’s cold, but it makes you run faster,” said Mount Vernon runner Ashley Judson. “It makes you want to finish.”
“When it’s cold, you have to make sure you really warm up (before the race),” said Silverwood. “You have to make sure you’re stretched out so you don’t hurt yourself. But, it’s something you have to deal with during track. It’s going to be either cold or hot.”
The Highland Scots had the best showing among area schools in the Division II and III category. The girls finished fourth with 62 points, while the boys came in fifth with 54 points. The Scots swept the 4x1,600 relay races, with the girls team of Lydia Hockenberry, Angelica Presley, Nichole Carter and Sarah Klugh (27:55.92) and the boys team of Logan Ebersole, Quenton Miller, James Hubbard and Josh Irvin (21:44.06) both winning.