Personal-best jump by Whitmire is worth the wait

Broken tape measure delays call of 22-1 long jump

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers writer

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Woodland’s Eli Whitmire thought he had just a normal jump when he took off.

Before he knew the result of his jump, he had to wait.

“It felt just like any other jump. I just jumped. The tape was actually broken,” he said.

A couple of minutes passed after the broken tape measured Whitmire’s jump.

“It was 21 feet, 3 inches and I could still see about ‘this much,’ ” Whitmire said, holding his hands several inches apart. “They had to bring another one to measure it and I couldn’t believe it.”

When they brought out the new measuring tape, Whitmire heard the call that he crushed his jump of 21 feet, 9 inches from last year’s state meet.

He did it by four inches with a new personal best of 22-1, which helped the Beavers take home the 1A District 4 boys track and field championship on Friday at McKenzie Stadium.

“I’m super excited about that,” Whitmire said. “Winning made it feel even better. Our team really needs the points if we are going to try and win this meet.”

Whitmire now has his eyes on a bigger prize.

“I feel like I could do more and just push my self to try and win it all,” he said.

Woodland was in the thick of things from the very beginning with Whitmire’s jump getting them on the board with their first 10 points of the meet.

The Beavers needed everything they got from Whitmire and more in a solid team performance for the Woodland boys.

Whitmire won the triple jump and ran the second leg of the 400-meter relay where the Beavers placed second.

His teammates Kolten Snyder and Dillan Bonamigo-Wear went 1-2 in the javelin.

After the triple jump, Matthew Young and Nathan Patterson finished second and third behind La Center’s Kyle DeGraaff to help Woodland pull away from the pack.

A runner-up finish in the 1,600 relay helped them seal it.

Montesano took home the girls meet, helped in large part by event wins from Jordan Spradlin in the discus and shot put.

Woodland finished second with two event winners in the girls meet.

Julia Stepper took home three events in both the 100 and 200 as well as the long jump. Her teammate Kelsey Newburn took home the 800.

Stevenson’s Madison McCrum took home the pole vault title with a vault of 8 feet.