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Hub high jumper wins state crown

February 19, 2001

Hub high jumper wins state crown



By DAN KAUFFMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Brittany TeslaLANDOVER, Md. - She's no more than 5-feet-2 inches tall, but her height didn't stop North Hagerstown High School senior Brittany Tesla from winning her first state championship Monday.

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Tesla cleared 5 feet, 4 inches in the girls high jump at the Maryland Indoor Track Championships at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex, winning the Class 3A/2A title.

"I still don't believe it," Tesla said after clearing the winning height on her first try, then watching as other competitors failed to match it.

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"She's been close to 5-4 all year," Hubs coach Glenn Cross said. "It's about three inches higher than her. ... She won't like me saying it, but it's more like five inches higher without her hair."

Tesla cleared 5-4 for the second time in 10 days. At the 3A/2A West Region meet on Feb. 9 at Hagerstown Community College, she cleared the height for the first time in her career on her third and final attempt to win the regional title.

On Monday, Tesla needed only one try at that height to close out the competition.

"I knew I could get 5-4, I just knew I had to get it on the first try," Tesla said. "I knew I had a chance then of getting the title."

Tesla missed all three attempts at 5-6, her best attempt coming on her third try when she grazed the bar with her hip and the bar fell. But by then, she had her state title wrapped up.

"She's always been capable," Cross said. "She's just a flat-out great athlete."

Tesla said the floor at the PG County Complex - an artificial surface made specifically for track and field - made a difference. "It's bouncier, and you don't have to worry about your feet sliding."

She also gave credit to her gymnastics background. Tesla practiced gymnastics from age 3 to 15.

"That's the reason I can jump what I do now," she said.

It's been a magical two weeks for North's diminutive leaper, capped off with a state title.

"She's a senior. It's a great thing to happen to her," Cross said.

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