After narrowly missing on a trip to the state track meet last year, Decatur senior Brianna Compton is leaping to new heights in 2013. In three meets this season, Compton has won the long jump and triple jump at each meet and broken the school record in both events in the process.
She leaped to 17 feet in her first long jump at the Decatur Meet to kick off the season. Since that opening jump it has just been a steady rise in both events.
“It was random,” Compton said about her first leap. “The first meet we had I jumped a 17, and that was what I was trying to get all of last year.”
Coaches didn’t know what to think about Compton’s performance. She had an aiding wind, but the temperatures were cool, which usually takes away most of that advantage.
When Compton went to Sanger she took away any of the doubt.
With a triple jump of 37-6 she broke the Decatur school record, which was presently held by Amy Kolb at 37-1.
Compton followed that up with a long jump of 18-1/2 at the Alvord Meet Saturday, breaking another school record of 18-1/4.
“She is just confident in what she is doing,” Decatur girls track coach David Park said. “She has been doing it for four years. She has a different presence when she is running down the runway, and knows exactly what she’s doing.”
Most track athletes see a drop in performance at the beginning of the season, after reaching a high mark the year before. That has not been the case with Compton.
“Usually you see peaks and valleys,” Park said. “With Brianna, it’s just been a continual rise.”
Assistant track coach Glen Vrba has been working with Compton since she was a freshman, and he noticed that she was about to go to new heights.
“Coach Vrba has been working with her for four years and has done an outstanding job,” Park said. “He told me ‘Brianna is about to takeoff. It’s just a matter of when’.”
There has also been the bad taste of just missing out on the state meet a season ago, which left her in third place. The top two places advance to state.
“Being a half inch from the state meet-there is a little fuel there,” said Park.
Although jumping is her favorite thing, Compton does compete in numerous running events. She runs the 4×100, the 4×200 and the 200 meters.
“I mainly just want to concentrate on jumping though,” Compton said. “I’ve done it ever since seventh grade.
“I would put sticks far apart and then try to jump over them. I guess I’ve always been a jumper.”
Now Compton hopes all those years of jumping will land her in Austin come May.