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WIAA state track and field: Royall's Jessica Brueggeman breaks long jump record

From the WIAA state track and field meet in La Crosse: Full coverage here series

The look of shock on her face told the story.

Royall High School senior Jessica Brueggeman's disbelief was obvious after a pressure-filled final attempt in the Division 3 long jump at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex on Thursday.

Brueggeman lined up needing a big jump because she was in danger of losing and walked away with a performance that holds a significant spot in state history.

Brueggeman's long jump of 19 feet, 8 inches didn't just make Gibraltar's Abbey Fitzgerald's reign as meet record-holder a short one; it also put Brueggeman's name among the best in state history with the sixth-best all-time performance.

"The girl broke my record, and I just got an adrenaline rush," Brueggeman said. "When I got done jumping, (an official) said, 'You just crushed it.'

"It didn't feel like a great jump, and everyone in the crowd was saying, 'Are they saying 19 (feet)?' I was like, 'What?' I didn't believe it."

Brueggeman owned the previous Division 3 meet record with an 18-8¼ set during a winning effort in 2019. She had her eyes focused on repeating as champion, but beating that performance by a foot never crossed her mind.

Brueggeman is used to state success, but this was different. She helped the Panthers qualify for the WIAA state volleyball tournament during the alternate fall season and had competed in eight events during her first two years of qualifying for the state track and field meet.

Brueggeman qualified for four more events Thursday. She placed second in the triple jump (38-7¾), helped Royall's 400 relay team place second (50.49) and helped the Panthers finish fourth in the 1,600 relay (4:12.81).

Brueggeman, who will compete in jumps and sprints at the Illinois Institute of Technology, finished her career with nine medals in 12 events and finished first or second in both the long jump and triple jump all three years she could have competed.

But nothing will compare to the 19-8 long jump from Friday.

"I was still in shock after they put it on the board," Brueggeman said. "I was like, 'There's no way I jumped that.'"

But she did and put herself in the company of several Division 1 jumpers who held top spots on the state's all-time list for years.

Janesville Parker's Sharon Dollins is still the only state girl to jump more than 20 feet with her 20-6 performance back in 1980, but she is also followed by several Division 1 jumpers.

Milwaukee King's Priya Hoze (19-11) follows, and Waukesha South's Armoni Brown follows at 19-9¾. Mount Horeb's Nadia Williams is fourth (19-9) and Milwaukee Madison's Jade Nolan fifth (19-8½) fifth before Brueggeman's name makes its appearance.

The jump is the best in state history by a competitor from a Division 3 school.

"It doesn't feel real," Brueggeman said. "I don't know if it will feel real a year from now."


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