The late afternoon sun was low on the horizon and all events but one had finished at the Boys’ Track Division Championships, yet many were reluctant to leave. True greatness is an arresting thing to behold, and many were reluctant to pry their eyes away from an athlete who possessed such a quality.
Jyles Etienne won the Division III Championship yesterday evening with a leap of 6′ 10″ to best the field by eight inches. It was also the best jump of the day across all divisions by an astonishing four inches and reset the Division III meet record.
Etienne came in at 6′ 6″ after the entire field had completed their jumps. He cleared 6′ 6″ on his second attempt, making it the fourth time this season he has successfully elected to come in at that height. As the officials ratcheted the standards up to 6′ 10″, entire teams stopped loading their equipment onto their buses in order to watch one of the nation’s best jumpers.
After two solid attempts at 6′ 10″, Etienne soared over the bar on his third try and those that stayed to watch roared their approval. From there, Etienne attempted 7′ 0.25″, but the milestone remained elusive, though he made two very strong attempts. Etienne continues to knock on the door of the Suffolk County record of 7′ 1″ set in 1979 and will have several opportunities left achieve that mark starting with the County Championships next week.
With the victory, Etienne earned the first Divison track title for the Bears since Charles Tankeh won the 100 and 200 meter crowns in 2014.