Meyer improves from 30th to 11th at state; Gordon takes 6th

-A A +A
By Andrew Harner

CHARLESTON – Vandalia sophomore Ethan Meyer went into last Thursday’s state preliminaries hoping to break the school’s triple jump record.


Coach Jim Dierkes hoped Meyer would add enough length to his 30th-ranked sectional jump to make the state finals.

As it happened, both of them got their wish.

Meyer leaped 41 feet, 8½ inches in last Thursday's Illinois High School Association Class 1A state prelims to set the school record and earn the last spot in the finals, and then rebounded from two fouls to jump 41 feet, 9¼ inches in last Saturday’s finals to finish 11th.

Meyer, who was the youngest athlete in the finals and had never triple jumped prior to this spring, improved his distance by just less than 6 feet from his first jump of 35 feet, 11 inches on April 1, and beat the school record by 5¼ inches.

Neoga junior Corey Kersey won the state title at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University with a leap of 47 feet, 2¼ inches, beating the rest of the field by 15½ inches.

Vandalia’s lone medalist at state was freshman Curtis Gordon, who cleared 14 feet to finish in a tie for sixth in the pole vault.

He needed all three attempts to clear 14 feet, but wasn’t able to get over 14-6. He still finished better than any other freshman in the state, regardless of class.

Gordon was one of three vaulters from the South Central Conference to earn a state medal, as Hillsboro senior Noah Calvert finished fourth at 14-6, and Carlinville senior Jack Denby won the state championship at 16-3.