The entire Columbia High School athletic complex was on the edge of its seats Wednesday as two of the state’s top high jumpers went into a jump-off.
Both Illinois State High Jump Champions last year in their respective classes, Justin Kretchmer of Waterloo and his only real competitor, the only person who has ever really beaten him, Kyle Landon of Chester battled it out to reach the golden seven-foot mark at the Bi-County Meet held at CHS.
Kretchmer, the University of Kentucky commit, won last year’s IHSA Class 2A high jump competition with a jump of 6’8”. When the senior cleared the 6’11” mark Wednesday his teammates and coaches were all smiles as they watched him forge a personal record.
The competition continued as the two tried to clear the elite seven-foot mark. Kretchmer did not make the jump, knocking over the crossbar three times in a row. Landon, however, went on to ‘Ooo’ the crowd, as he etched himself into the state record books with a jump of 7’2”. He is now the third person in Illinois recorded history to clear that height, with the last person to do so in 1994. Only six others have ever cleared higher than that.
Waterloo’s shot put and discus star Brendan Duncan had a great outing as well. Duncan, set a personal record by three feet with a throw of 61’8” in the shot put at Columbia. He also did well in the discus with a throw of 166’2”. So far this season, the senior’s best throw has been about 187-feet.
Waterloo would go on to win the meet with 157 points, Sparta came in second (141), Chester took third (125), Columbia came in fourth (98), Red Bud finished in fifth (16) and Gibault in sixth (12).
On the girls side, Red Bud took the meet crown with 171 points, Chester came in second (160), Waterloo took third (123), Sparta finished fourth (47), Columbia fifth (42) and Gibault sixth (4).
To read more on the showdown between Kretchmer and Landon and about Wednesday’s Bi-County Track Meet, check out next week’s edition of the Republic-Times newspaper.
For complete results from the meet, click here. To view and purchase photos from the meet, click here.