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Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- The Jubilee.

That's what Monroe's Mimieux Land wanted to talk about late Friday night. She couldn't feel her legs and was a little numb after the events of the day.

She was so exhausted she said she wouldn't even realize what she had accomplished until Monday.

"That's when it will hit me,'' Land said. "When I go to school Monday, that's when it will sink in. That's when I will feel it.''

So how do you feel when you've won three state titles -- high jump, long jump and triple jump -- smashed a state record and put your team in position to win its second consecutive GHSA Class AAA state title?

For Land all those feelings were inside. Her grandmother Lula Spurlin passed away the day before the region meet last week, and Land has been hurting since.

"Before my grandmother died, she told me to bring home the jubilee,'' Land said, her voice cracking a bit. "I didn't know what 'the jubilee' meant. I asked my mother, and she told me it means to bring home the victory -- to win it all.''

Few have ever done it as well as Land, who won with class and dignity and enough humility to fill Hugh Mills Stadium, which is playing host to the GHSA girls state track & field meet for the 25th consecutive year.

"She knows what the jubilee means now,'' said Monroe coach Octavia Jones, who was as awestruck as everyone else after watching Land win three titles, then anchor the fastest 4x100 relay team in the meet, and finally run the second leg on Monroe's 4x400 relay team that also had the fastest qualifying time. Oh, yeah ... she is only a sophomore.

"She is amazing, absolutely amazing,'' Jones said.

In so many ways.

Even in the darkness at the end of the long, exhausting day, all Land wanted to do was talk about her grandmother, her coach and her team, and as she spoke the brightest star of the day became even brighter.

"This is for my grandmother,'' she said. "This is for my coach and my team. I really wanted to get the points for the team.''

She landed 30 points in about an hour, moving from one event to the other because the triple jump, long jump and high jump all took place at about the same time.

"She was an inspiration to all of us,'' said Monroe's Ashley Johnson, who qualified for both the 100 and 300 hurdles and ran on both relay teams. "That was a divine spirit. Mimi was incredible. She jumped right out of the stadium.''

And jumped right into the record book. The best triple jump in her life had been 38-2, but she went 39-2 on her first attempt of the day, then broke the state record (39-5) by leaping over 40 feet and eventually setting a new standard at 40-1/4.

It took two jumps, and the record was smashed.

"It surprised me when she broke the record,'' said her father, Dan Land, a former NFL star who coaches defensive backs at Albany State. "She really just started the triple jump this year.''

His daughter felt the same way.

"I always thought I would just be a high jumper,'' she said. "I never imagined winning three (state titles). And it really surprised me when I got the state record. But when I made that jump, I knew something was going on, because of the way coach Jones was looking. He had that look that said: 'You have gone and done it now.' "

More remarkably is that she did all of it in such a short period of time, bouncing from one event to the next, looking more serious with every jump.

Jones had worked with her in practice to make sure she could handle the grind of all three events that took place in the heat of the 90-plus degree day.

"It didn't bother me that much,'' Land said. "Coach Jones worked me in practice on all three to get me ready for this. He kept pushing me. I'm amazed. It just makes me smile.''

But after running on the relay teams Friday night, Land had to be helped off the track. She was spent, totally wiped out.

"I can't feel my legs,'' she said. "They're dead. I'm going home and take an ice bath. I'll soak in it for about 45 minutes.''

Much later, all this will soak in for Land, the first to ever win three state titles in track at Monroe.

"She's done something no one else has ever done,'' Jones said. "She is incredible.''

Land won the high jump as a freshman and won again, clearing the bar at 5-6, and then had to take two breaks in the middle of the long jump competition in order to run over to the podium to receive her first-place medals. She then landed an 18-8 to win the long jump. That's a total of 64 feet and 5 1/2 inches of solid gold jumping.

Land was happier about all the points because Monroe is trying to win its second consecutive state title -- and because Jones is leaving to become the football coach at Westover. She had all of those reasons and more to have the day of her life.

"We talked about her winning a triple crown,'' Jones said. "And she was determined to do it.''

Land's 30 points gave Monroe the lead with 34 points because Alexandria Childs finished fourth in the shot put. Monroe is sending a solid group and appears ready to defend its title. Lakeisha Jackson could win both hurdles titles today, and Johnson will likely place high in both events, and Maikea Davis qualified for both the 100 and 200. Analesha McFarland also qualified in the 100, and Monroe is sending both its 4x100 relay teams to the finals, as well as its 4x400 team that has a good chance to win.

"We got the ones in the finals we thought would get there,'' Jones said. "We're sitting right where we want to be.''

It was a day for a jubilee.