YUKON – For a while on Friday, it looked like Grove junior Emilee Iverson might have some competition as she attempted to win a second straight state title in the 5A girls high jump.
Through the early rounds there were plenty of others who cruised over bar with seeming ease, including Tahlequah’s Jordan Roach.
But when the bar was raised to 5-0, the competition fell by the wayside. Roach managed to match her season-best of 5-2, but Iverson cleared 5-4 on her second attempt then cleared 5-6 for good measure, in repeating as state champion.
“It feels really, really good,” Iverson said. “I was really nervous going into this. My heart was beating really, really fast. After winning last year, the pressure to win again was big. I had the title to keep and I wanted to do it again.”
If she was nervous, it didn’t show until the end. Starting at 4-8, Iverson cleared her first four jumps until missing on her first attempt at 5-4. After clearing that height on her second attempt, Iverson then cleared 5-6 before falling short on three attempts to match her personal best and school record of 5-8.
“It was way more exciting [to win] last year since it was my first year to win it, but it feels just as good this year. Clearing 5-6 made it exciting.”
Iverson’s win was one of three individual state titles for the Lady Ridgerunners on Friday. Michaela Werner repeated as state champion in the 3200 meters, while Braleigh Bechtol captured the title in the pole vault, giving the Grove girls the lead in the team standings after day one with 39 points, 13 points more than Shawnee.