LaJarvia Brown soars past 19 feet in Thursday's Alton Invitational. (Photo by Brent Feeney)

Alton's Katie Mans had a big day on Thursday, clearing 5-7 to smash an Alton girls school high jump record. (Photo by Brent Feeney)

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GODFREY – An era both began and came to an end Thursday in the 20th edition of the Alton Invitational girls track and field meet.

A new era began as Alton High School's new Piasa Motor Fuels Field hosted its first major track meet.

An era came to an end as the Redbirds' LaJarvia Brown took part in her last meet before the home fans before her graduation later this spring and departure to College Station, Texas, to be a part of Texas A&M's women's track team.

The Redbirds finished fifth on the day, scoring 105 points, with Brown winning three of the four events she was entered in and Katie Mans setting a school record in the high jump with a big performance. O'Fallon won the meet with 155.5 points, with East St. Louis taking second at 137.5, followed by Cahokia (124), Edwardsville (110), the Redbirds, Triad (67), Granite City (27), Hazelwood Central (22), Carrollton (9) and Madison (9) rounding out the field.

“I'm pretty excited,” Brown said about performing before the home fans one last time, “but I'm also said it's my last meet here. It's like a bittersweet moment.”

“I'm super excited” Brown said about heading to Texas A&M in the fall. “I can't wait to get there.”

Brown won three of the four events she was in, the long jump (19-1.25), triple jump (40-7) and 100-meter hurdles (14.20 seconds), but finished sixth in the 300 hurdles after stumbling and falling over a hurdle early in the race; she recovered for a time of 50.05 seconds.

“I think I just wasn't consistent,” Brown said about her tumble. “I kind of went over the hurdle with the wrong leg, so that kind of threw me off; it happens.”

It was also a big day for Redbird sophomore Katie Mans; she won the high jump with a leap of 5-7, which not only was a personal best for her, but topped her previous school mark of 5-6 and set a meet record in the process as well. “I started crying afterwards” after setting the mark and winning the event, Mans said. “I was pretty excited; I've been in a bit of a rut this whole year and last weekend and today kind of brought me out of it, so I'm pretty happy.

“I didn't know how the weather would hold out today and I think the weather did pretty good for me today. It was amazing; my goal this year is 5-8, so getting one inch closer was pretty amazing. My goal by my senior year is to get to six feet.”

Redbird coach Terry Mitchell was happy with the Redbirds' overall performance on the day. “I think we had a pretty great performance today,” Mitchell said. “I would have liked to finish in the top four, but it's tough unless you have a full, well-rounded team; there's some areas where we're still weak in and need some work. Until that gets ironed out, or we progress further into the season to where the standouts we have stand out, it's going to happen.

“We had the same kind of thing happen last year where we went all the way to the sectionals and state finals, we were way down in the bottom of the pack, but by the time the state finals rolled around, we were at the upper echelon.”

“We did really well,” said Granite City Warrior coach Tom Miller. “We had a few kids out sick today and we still did really well. Our best distance runner here today did real well today, our sprint medley relay; our best performances were in the (4x100 and 4x200 relays); we ran a state-qualifying time, so we're pretty excited.”

Here are the results for area athletes on the day:


100 METERS: Jenea Epps, Alton, fifth (12.59); Robyn Pointer, Granite City, eighth (13.20); Boykin, Edwardsville, ninth (13.30); James, Edwardsville, 11th (13.60)


200 METERS: Toni Rush, Granite City, third (23.62); Tatiana Perry, Edwardsville, fifth (25.87); Daysha Lacey, Alton, eighth (27.33); Robyn Pointer, Granite City, 10th (27.47); Jenea Epps, Alton, 11th (27.48); Alexis Jacobs, Edwardsville, 14th (27.96)


400 METERS: Lorie Cashdollar, Edwardsville, second (59.30); Rachel Kubicek, Edwardsville, sixth (1:02.68); Kellie Mans, Alton, ninth (1:05.09); Alyssa Comer, Granite City, 10th (1:08.34); Tramma, Granite City, 14th (1:12.06); Lauren Pingsterhaus, Carrollton, 17th (1:24.66)


800 METERS: Victoria Vegher, Edwardsville, third (2:18.31); J. Hudson, Edwardsville, seventh (2:38.09); Lily Baumgartner, Carrollton, ninth (2:43.86); Mariah Williams, Granite City, 10th (2:46.83); TyAria Holloway, Alton, 12th (2:58.46); Teonsay Moss, Alton, 13th (3:00.16)


1,600 METERS: Danielle Bohannon, Edwardsville, third (5:36.20); Rachel Schonecker, Edwardsville, fourth (5:45); Lily Baumgartner, Carrollton, fifth (6:01)


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3,200 METERS: Colleen Corkery, Edwardsville, second (12:06,80); Julianna Determan, Edwardsville, third (12:14,28); Lily Baumgartner, Carrollton, fourth (12:17.40)


100 HURDLES: LaJarvia Brown, Alton, first (14.20); TyKiara Jones, Granite City, fifth (15.61); Griggs, Edwardsville, ninth (17.10); Ayonna Smith, Alton, 10th (17.94); Elise Krone, Edwardsville, 11th (18:40)


300 HURDLES: LaJarvia Brown, Alton, sixth (50.05); Elise Krone, Edwardsville, eighth (51.09); Griggs, Edwardsville, ninth (51.10); Diarra Smith, Alton, 10th (51.83)


4X100 RELAY: Granite City, second (48.40); Alton, fifth (50.48); Edwardsville, sixth (50.56)


4X200 RELAY: Granite City, second (1:43.05); Alton, fifth (1:50.19); Edwardsville, sixth (1:51.17)


4X400 RELAY: Edwardsville, third (4:05); Alton, fifth (4:30.81)


4X800 RELAY: Edwardsville, third (10:11.60); Alton, fourth (11:28.37)


SPRINT MEDLEY RELAY: Edwardsville, first (1:49,80); Alton, second (1:53.60); Granite City, ninth (2:11.03)


HIGH JUMP: Katie Mans, Alton, first (5-7); Crishonna Hickman, Alton, eighth (4-10); TyKiaza Jones, Granite City, T-ninth (4-8)


POLE VAULT : Gabriella Romano, Edwardsville, second (9-0); TyRiss Holloway, Alton, third (8-6)


LONG JUMP: LaJarvia Brown, Alton, first (19-1.25); Raina Valyo, Alton, fifth (16-3.5); Stanifer, Edwardsville, T-10th (15-1); Boykin, Edwardsville, T-10th (15-1); Jerica Haire, Granite City, 15th (13-8.75); Traonna Ward, Granite City, 16th (12-6.5)


TRIPLE JUMP: LaJarvia Brown, Alton, first (40-7); Raina Valyo, Alton, eighth (32-4.25); Valentine, Edwardsville, 13th (28-7.5)


SHOT PUT: Chayvon Buckingham, Alton, third (40-2); Jewel Wagner, Alton, fourth (39-4); Jessie Chappel, Edwardsville, fifth (37-7); Daech, Edwardsville, ninth (34-2.5); Delaney Settles, Carrollton, 11th (29-7); Hannah Harris, Granite City, 12th (28-10.5); Ellie Cunningham, Carrollton, 17th (22-9)


DISCUS THROW: Savannah Maloney, Edwardsville, third (113-3); Jessie Chappel, Edwardsville, fourth (112-7); Alexis James, Alton, eighth (91-8); Delaney Settles, Carrollton, ninth (84-8); Hannah Harris, Granite City, 11th (77-4.25); Kennedi Freeman, Alton, 13th (63-8.25); Ellie Cunningham, Carrollton, 15th (51-4.25)

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