Posted May 9, by Dylan Savela, News Advocate
BRETHREN — With the way the wind was whipping when she arrived, Jaylee Brown wasn’t planning on breaking any record — not even if it was her own.
The Onekama senior has been a pole vaulter, and all-around athlete, long enough to know that some things can’t be controlled.
“Oh my gosh,” she said of the windy West Michigan D League championship meet in Brethren on Wednesday. “I wasn’t really sure how it would go today (in the pole vault), because when we first got here, the wind was blowing really weird.”
But Brown persevered, not only by winning the event, but vaulting 10-foot-4 to eclipse the Onekama school record of 10-3 she set in her freshman campaign.
A flawless vault can be a mix of mostly talent and partly calm conditions. Poor weather and erratic winds aren’t friendly when propelling yourself in the air, but must be endured.
And Brown is not a stranger to setbacks.
After a successful freshman track and field campaign — one in which she set her previous record and was an All-State vaulter — Brown had to cut back drastically on her time at the track as a back injury plagued her sophomore and junior seasons.
“She’s had problems with it through the years,” said Jaylee’s mother and track coach Bonnie Brown. “She’s been to chiropractors, physical therapists and doctors who took X-rays.”
Brown took the past two seasons off from running hurdle events — in which she also excels — and treaded lightly through the regular season when it came to pole vault, though she still managed to qualify as an All-State athlete in the event both years.
Brown was slightly embarrassed when asked if she felt she could have broke her record sooner had the injury not set in.