Curtis High School freshman Alexis Ellis is now listed as having the top triple-jump mark in the state. But not because of her 41-foot effort on Thursday at the 4A West Central District meet.
She hit what was then the top mark in the nation this season at 42 feet, 41/4 inches at the 39th annual Lake Washington Invitational on May 2. That mark was not listed among the top results in the state on sports website Athletic.net until either late Thursday or early Friday.
Athletic.net is a website that displays national, state and local results in cross-country and track and field by participants in youth clubs, middle school, high school and collegiate levels.
Curtis track and field coach Sarah Hannula contacted David Johnson, an employee of Athletic.net, on May 5 inquiring as to why Ellis’ mark wasn’t listed among the state and nation’s top marks. Johnson, who’s title in an email says he’s with Athletic.net Support, responded the following day:
"That jump isn’t going to be validated until she has other similar jumps," Johnson wrote to Hannula. "That is a very unlikely jump — beats her best by three feet, and puts her leading the country by two feet. That never happens. If she’s truly made a breakthrough, and can magically jump that far, then she’ll do it again, and we’ll revisit this."
Ellis jump actually led the country at the time by 3 inches, not 2 feet. Ellis’ previous best was 39-21/2.
Johnson and Athletic.net had not responded to emails from The News Tribune as of Friday afternoon. Hannula said Friday morning that she had yet to receive an explanation for the change.
At the West Central District meet, Ellis jumped 40-11 before hitting 41-0 on her final jump. That final mark was better than Mountlake Terrace’s Chinne Okoronkwo’s previous state record of 40-11.73, according to Athletic.net.
"After today, (Athletic.net) should have to validate (the Lake Washington Invite) mark," Hannula said on Thursday. "But if (it) doesn’t, there are a lot of people here who said they are going to be contacting them."
The site now lists Ellis’ 42-41/4 as the top mark in the state. It is also the all-time state freshman record, passing teammate Saudia James-Heard, also a freshman, who hit 40-31/4 this year, and is the third-best mark in the nation, according to Dyestat.
Bria Matthews of Forest Park, Georgia, holds the nation’s top triple-jump mark at 43-51/2 and Curtis grad Andrea Geubelle has the state record at 42-101/4.