Wichita Tonganoxie High sophomore Jenny Whitledge hoped to set a school record in the girls high jump Friday at the state track meet with a leap of 5 feet, 6 inches.
She settled for 5-4 and a Class 4A state championship.
The spring in Whitledge’s steps made her the only girl in the event to jump higher than 5-2, and once she won her title, she went after an even tougher height, 5-6.
“After I cleared 5-4, I definitely thought my adrenaline would take me over the bar,” Whitledge said.
Though she didn’t set a THS record, the sophomore was plenty excited with her state title.
“I wanted to scream. I’m not kidding. It was an insane moment in your life,” Whitledge said. “It’s the biggest meet you have, and to know you just won it all and all your hard work has paid off ... it makes me smile.”
Her itinerary began with long jump, and when she topped out at 15-101⁄4 and didn’t make the finals, Whitledge was irked. She said she “had to take the anger out” on her run in the 300-meter hurdles and it must have worked — she set a THS record in the event with a sixth-place time of 47.05 and qualified for today’s final.
The sophomore is looking forward to that opportunity, as well as the chance to win another high jump crown or two.
“Hopefully I can defend it next year and the year after that,” Whitledge said.