High School Sports

Rogers’ Jelani Heath wins 4A state long jump title, almost first in meet history to hit 20 feet

VIDEO: Rogers' Jelani Heath long jumps to 4A title, nearly has meet record if not for wind

Rogers' junior Jelani Heath claimed the 4A state championship with a jump of 19 feet, 11 1/2 inches on her final jump of the finals.
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Rogers' junior Jelani Heath claimed the 4A state championship with a jump of 19 feet, 11 1/2 inches on her final jump of the finals.

The sugar-toothed jackrabbit struck again, as Jelani Heath claimed the state championship 4A girls long jump and almost a piece of history.

As if Heath needed extra incentive coming into the second day of Star Track XXXIV state tournament at Mount Tahoma Stadium. But just for good measures, Rogers assistant coach Bailey Kappel gave a big one for the Rams star jumper.

Donuts.

"I really do (feel good). I get a chance with life. I get donuts, so I’m happy," Heath said, who entered the meet with the state’s best jump of 19 feet, 5 1/2 inches.

How about a baker’s dozen after the performance Heath displayed, as the junior claimed the 4A state championship with a jump of 19 feet, 11 1/2 inches on her final jump of the finals.

"Yeah, donuts are life. Chocolate with sprinkles," Heath joked.

Twice the sugar-fueled Ram snapped the 39 year old record set by Patsy Walker of Yelm (19 feet, 9 1/2 inches), who set the record back in 1977. But they won’t count toward the official meet record because both were considered wind assisted.

In her second jump of the prelims, Heath took off in a flurry, and with one step in front of the plank, the Rams jumper let it all go.

"Nothing was going through my mind, but as I was running and jumping, I just felt super high," Heath said. "When I was going, I was like ‘I’m still up here. Still up here.’ It felt good."

When Heath landed, she had surpassed the previous mark, and set the new meet record with a distance of 19 feet, 10 3/4 inches.

Heath was not done yet.

Saving the best for last (literally), the junior set flight on her best jump to date, the state winning distance (19-11.5), yet the wild wind at Mount Tahoma Stadium allowed the jump to stand in terms of placement.

But not the record books as Heath’s jump was considered to be wind aided, giving her two of the three titles she set forth coming into the meet.

"If they say they say the wind was really big (factor), then the wind was big. You don’t argue with the officials," Heath said.

Even with her final jump not counting towards the books, coming out with the meet’s top jump and a 4A state championship is one heck of a sweetener.

"All the way. Ram-pride," Heath closed.

preps@thenewstribune.com

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