Jimson-Miller earns crown
CHARLESTON — The state’s premier Class 3A hurdler now shares the top spot as her high school’s all-time best.
Danville senior Alexus Jimson-Miller won the 100-meter high hurdles crown in Saturday’s 41st running of the IHSA girls’ track and field state meet at Eastern Illinois.
“It’s what I wanted, and I went after it,” Jimson-Miller said. “I’ve been looking forward to this all year. I knew I could do it.”
She joins current Danville assistant coach Tiffany Johnson as the only girls from Danville to earn state medals in a hurdles race. Johnson earned hurdles medals in three years, compared to twice for Jimson-Miller.
If you want to sort out the school’s best based on time, forget it. Jimson-Miller’s 14.12 championship clocking on a sunny Saturday at O’Brien Stadium was an exact duplicate of Johnson’s career best and is the standard for the all-time News-Gazette Area Honor Roll.
Jimson-Miller’s success shows the possibilities for athletes who choose not to specialize in one sport.
She last ran summer track before her freshman year, spending the past three offseasons with Danville’s volleyball and basketball teams.
“I love doing those things, and I’ve had a lot of good high school experiences different from track,” Jimson-Miller said.
A four-sport letter winner, at the finish line, the Miami (Ohio) recruit leaned past 3A runner-up Emma Spagnola, from West Aurora, who was timed in 14.16.
“It was nice having someone pushing me,” Jimson-Miller said. “That was the toughest race I had all year.”
While Johnson at practice “has been there to push me,” Jimson-Miller credited the efforts of assistant Steve Luke — who works with all of Danville’s hurdlers — for helping her become the school’s fourth individual state champion.
Jimson-Miller came back with a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles and helped the Vikings’ 400-meter relay to a fourth-place spot on the awards podium. The relay also posted an all-time area-best mark (48.15) thanks to the efforts of Michaela Jones, Ambrosia Williams and Emone Davis, all of whom are underclassmen.
“This was the most nervous I’ve ever been,” leadoff runner Jones said.
“Our handoffs were great,” Williams added.
Jimson-Miller’s prep career ended the way it began: with state medals in three events.
She had hoped for a higher finish in the 300 hurdles but took satisfaction with the performance.
“I didn’t get off to a good start and didn’t hit all the hurdles in stride, but I ran a really good (school-record) time, and that’s nice to see,” Jimson-Miller said.
Her 43.55 clocking ranks as the best ever by a News-Gazette area athlete in the event.
While individual champions in other races pumped their fists or jumped for joy, Jimson-Miller was more low-key after the 100 hurdles finals, simply flashing a brief smile.
“I’m really calm and don’t show a lot of emotion when it comes to doing my thing,” she said.
Jimson-Miller wasn’t planning a big celebration bash, either. An Italian dinner was going to be followed by the next priority on her list.
“Sleep,” she said.
Among the elite
Area girls who placed in the top three:
NAME CLASS SCHOOL EVENT RESULT
Alexus Jimson-Miller 3A Danville 100 hurdles 14.12
Kandie Bloch-Jones 1A Argenta-O. High jump 5-7
Jenny Kimbro 1A Salt Fork 100 hurdles 15.08
Amanda McClain 1A Sullivan/OV 400 56.92
Morgan Young 2A Mahomet-S. Discus 132-1
Tomczewski, Bowman, 1A Sullivan/OV 800 relay 1:43.72
J.Welle, Harshbarger, 1A STM 3,200 relay 9:48.10
Bristow, R. Kelley
Kassadee Ifft 2A Prairie C. Pole vault 11-6
Miranda Marry 1A Fisher 300 hurdles 45.11
Hannah Swift 1A Clinton Pole vault 11-0