SACRAMENTO — The triple jump, when executed correctly, is three events in one.
"There's a first, second and third phase, and if you don't do all three just right, you're not going to do well," Modesto High's Stephanie Stavrianoudakis said Friday. "One leads right into the other, so you can't be good in just one."
You can take her word for it, because Stavrianoudakis is the Sac-Joaquin Section's authority in the triple jump.
She soared a personal best 37 feet, 5 inches, to capture the championship at the Masters Meet at Hughes Stadium — and is one of three Stanislaus District girls going to the State Meet in the triple jump.
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"My problem had been that I would go too high in the first phase," she said. "I got myself under control now, and that has been the big difference."
Combined with her ability to get good hang time in the second phase and power into the final phase, it has allowed Stavrianoudakis to add nearly two feet this season alone.
"I couldn't have imagined 37 feet when the year began," said Stavrianoudakis, who was in the 35-foot range as a junior. "I PR'd last week and again this week. I'd love to make it 3-for-3 next week."
Going to Sacramento State in the fall to study civil engineering, she hopes to jump on the Hornets' track team, too.
"Those girls bust out 40s, though, so I'll have to work hard," Stavrianoudakis said.
She'll be joined at the State Meet by Golden Valley's Porsha Grayson (second at 37-1) and Buhach Colony's Rio Schwalbach (third at 36-10½).
Merced's Jealinda Mills also went 36-10½, but her second-best jump of 36-1½ — the tiebreaker — was five inches behind Schwalbach's 36-6½.