BY CHAD DARE
Alexus Jimson-Miller has had numerous memorable experiences in her track and field career.
The Danville senior has won three medals at the IHSA state meet.
She had a sixth-place finish earlier this spring in 100-meter hurdles at the historic Texas Relays.
And earlier this year, she signed a National Letter of Intent to run track at the University of Miami of Ohio.
But, on Saturday afternoon, Jimson-Miller did something for the first time in her high school career.
She competed, and won four events, in the inaugural John Eakle Invitational at the newly dedicated Wayland-Young Athletic Facility.
“I like to win, especially in our first home invitational. I got to show off what I can do,’’ said Jimson-Miller, who ran the ninth fastest time in the state for the 300-meter hurdles.
That goes along with her holding the second fastest time in the 100 hurdles, the 11th fastest time in the 200 and 16th best triple jump.
“We always want to perform well,’’ she said. “But especially when you are at home, in front of your friends and your family, you want to do your absolute best.’’
Danville girls coach B.J. Luke acknowledged that was one of the special parts about having the school’s first invitational in more than 50 years.
“It was good for the community to see her run before she goes off to college,’’ Luke said. “I know everyone in Danville has read about her and they have heard about her times.
“But, until you really see her run the hurdles? Now, that’s some really good stuff.’’
And, Jimson-Miller ran her best time in the 300 hurdles less than 24 hours after winning three individual events and running a leg on a winning relay for Danville at the Urbana Invitational on Friday night.
She felt that was a contributing factor in her cutting seven-tenths of a second off her time from Friday night.
“I’m starting to get a better feel for that race, especially after running it back-to-back days,’’ said Jimson-Miller, who ran that event in 45.57 seconds on Saturday. “I think I had a pretty good day, especially after our meet on Friday. I definitely made some gains today.’’
Jimson-Miller wasn’t the only Viking that came up with a season-best performance on Saturday.
Junior Ambrosia Williams not only won the pole vault, but she set a new Danville High record with her jump of 9 feet, 7 inches.
“Actually, I’ve been kind of frustrated because I’ve been getting only up to the 8-foot range on a consistent basis,’’ she said. “After (Friday’s meet) I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.’’
Williams, who also previously held the school record at 9-6, didn’t even know she was trying to set a new mark.
“Coach didn’t tell me what the height was before I jumped it,’’ she said. “Once I made it over, he told me that it was at 9-7.
“Now, I want to break 10-foot and keep going higher from there.’’
And just like her teammate, Williams said performing at Wayland-Young Athletic Facility was an inspiration for her.
“It was the hometown crowd, all my family and the people from my church were here today,’’ she said. “It was great to get that support from the community.
“It’s just like how the people support the football team. Now, we have the opportunity to get those same people here to watch us succeed.’’
While the inaugural event didn’t crown an official team winner, Danville won 11 of the 18 varsity events.
Jimson-Miller, Williams, Emone Davis and Jorriel Stewart combined to win the 400 relay, while Williams, Davis, Stewart and Michaela Jones were on the Vikings 800 relay team that took first. Davis also won the 100-meter dash.
In addition to the track victories, Danville also got a first-place finish from Kierra Forman in the triple jump, while Brittney Issac won both the shot put and the discus events.
“It was a great day, from the beginning with the dedication of the track, all the way to the end with the performances of our girls,’’ Luke said. “It was just a good day all around.’’
Up next for the Danville girls is a dual meet at Terre Haute North on Monday.