Newsome repeats with triple jump state title

SHIPPENSBURG — In just one jump, Lanae Newsome surpassed her 40-foot goal, broke the state record and won her second PIAA Class AA triple jump championship.

"It was just really exciting," Newsome said. "I was really happy. ... That was my best jump ever."

Newsome and king seed Paige Lumley, of Richland, battled out the competition throughout the day. The state record was broken four times during last Saturday's competition.

The previous state record (39-5.75) was held by Rhonda Witmer, of Greenwood.

Although Lumley was the No. 1 seed, she jumped in the first flight so she could always run in the 100-meter hurdle semis.

In her preliminary series, Lumley jumped 38-7 and 39-7, setting a new state record, before fouling.

Newsome then broke the state record on her first preliminary jump, which was marked at 39-10. She also jumped 39-4 before passing her third preliminary jump to run the 100-meter dash semi- finals.

Because only nine jumpers qualify for the finals, the girls are re-seeded, and Newsome became the final jumper.

Headed into the sixth jump, Newsome was still leading with her prelim jump of 39-10, but Lumley once again set a new state record with a mark of 40-1.75.

All season, Newsome had been working toward the 40-foot mark, and at that point, she knew it all came down to one jump.

She had to jump farther than 40-feet if she wanted to defend her title.

"I knew I could do it," she said. "I had a little doubt, but then I thought about it, and I knew I could do it. I just listened to (coach Dan) Murdock, listened to what he told me to do, so that I could do that."

And finally, all of Newsome's goal came together with a 40-3.5 measurement, sending friends and family in the crowd into an explosion of applause and cheers.

"She was ecstatic; it was such a big emotional high," Murdock said. "It was a great experience. She's not only a repeat state champ, she has a state record. As rare as it is to be a state champ, it just multiplies that being able to break a state record. It's just phenomenal."

Girls' head coach Doug Roseman was equally excited for Newsome, especially being that it all came down to one final jump.

"It's just hard to put into words the kind of clutch performance she had," Roseman said. "It came down to one last attempt to win, and it was a big time clutch jump. ... She's just a big time competitor, and it seems like time and time again, she comes up with whatever it takes to win."

Despite the entire competition coming down to one final jump, Murdock said he knew she could do it.

"For the state record to be broken four times, it was an exciting competition, but Lanae's such a gamer," Murdock said. "It was fun to watch. Whenever she has an opportunity, she usually takes full advantage."

Being that Newsome is only a junior with two state championships under her belt, Roseman said he felt "the sky is the limit." He said he hopes she can extend that 40-3.5 jump and let the state record stand with her name on it for awhile.

Newsome said she has similar goals, and she already has her eye set on the three-peat.

"I hope to try to win again to have three (titles)," she said. "Last year, my best was 38-feet, and this year, I got to 40, so I hope I can get farther again."

Murdock, who is the jumps coach for Brookville, said there are a lot of technical aspects to the jump, and if she continues to improve upon those, 41 feet is not out of range.

"Her phase was good; her landing was good," he said. "She's made a lot of technical improvements, and to improve two feet in one year's time is great, but there's still some tiny things that maybe we can improve on and get out there a little bit farther. We've kind of focused on the speed and the explosion part, which certainly pays dividends in the triple jump."

In addition to the triple jump title, Newsome also medaled in the 100-meter dash, where she placed eighth overall in 12.79 seconds.

"We felt it was icing on the cake," Roseman said. "I think she probably used every ounce of adrenaline she had on the triple jump, and to come back and medal was a great accomplishment."

Newsome also competed in the 200-meter dash but failed to get out of the 200-meter dash. Murdock said he would like to work on her endurance next year, so she has a better chance to medal in several events.

"I don't know that I prepared her as well as I did last year for running the multiple races and the rounds and the sprint endurance that she needed," Murdock said. "We'll try to find the balance between those two things, and I really think she can be successful in both the triple jump and the sprints."