Originally Posted Online: April 09, 2013, 9:06 pm
Last Updated: April 09, 2013, 9:27 pm
Johnson breaks 56-year-old Fulton Relays record
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By Daniel Makarewicz, email@example.com
FULTON -- As he warmed up for the long jump during the Fulton Relays on Tuesday afternoon, Erie-Prophetstown senior Devin Johnson heard the talk he could easily break the meet record in the event.
"I still had to make the jump," Johnson said.
With ease, he established a new mark.
Despite a swirling crosswind and chilling temperatures, Johnson cleared 22-feet-3 in his first attempt. The jump broke a 56-year-old meet record -- the longest-standing one at the Fulton Relays -- by four inches, helping the Panthers to the team title.
"I wanted to go farther," said Johnson, who topped the previous record set by Central DeWitt's Chuck Runge in 1957. "I want to go 23 feet. Honestly, I thought I was going to. I didn't, but it's OK. It will come eventually."
Always striving for more, Johnson shook off the jump, knowing better distances lie ahead. A few moments later, he learned the record stood for more than half a decade.
The realization brought a sudden change to his demeanor.
"That was a tough jump to make," Johnson said. "A cool thing to do."
Even with the weather issues, he felt comfortable as he attempted the jump.
"I was really relaxed," Johnson said. "I got stretched out pretty well. Everything felt pretty good about the jump."
Now comes the time to increase the distance.
Johnson was vocal about breaking the 23-foot barrier, something he missed doing last season by a half inch. With six weeks left in the season, he knows he can reach that number and set a personal best.
Based on Tuesday's performance, more records will fall.
"It's going to happen," Johnson said. "I've got to keep practicing and stay healthy."
Panthers roll to title: Scoring in every event, Erie-Prophetstown tallied 145 points to win the 11-team meet title for the first time in six years.
The Panthers only track victory came in the sprint medley relay, but the quartet of Johnson, Darius Owens, Jack Bauer and Jace Bonnell set a meet record in 1:36.4. They beat the previous mark set by Morrison in 2006 by one second.
"That went pretty well," Owens said.
In the field events, Erie-Prophetstown scored 73 points. Ethan Oleson (47-9) and John Butts (135-7) won the shot put and discus, respectively. The Panthers scored twice in all five field events.
"All of us are good in individual events," Owens said. "If you put us all together, we're even better. That's good for us."
Rockridge senior T.J. Henry established a meet record in the high jump. Henry cleared 6-7.25, breaking the three-year-old mark by three-quarters of an inch.
"It felt good," Henry said. "I've been working on that the last four years. All it's kind of coming together, and it's showing."
Fulton (33 points) took fourth, Rockridge (29) was fifth, Sherrard (26) placed sixth, Riverdale (eight) captured ninth and Morrison (four) finished 10th.