Tony's Take Presents: Jelena Rowe 6.0

Jelena Rowe clears the elusive 6-foot barrier

In the history of girls indoor high jumping there have only been 25 clearings over six feet. Even moreso the tough achievement has been accomplished by just 16 athletes. The all-time greatest high jumper Vashti Cunningham (Las Vegas) has 10 of the top 11 jumps and those occurred over the past two seasons before the public eye. This rare feat is truly rare in that ONLY one Illinois girl had cleared 6-feet. Her name is the former Denise Daebelliehn (now Denise Urycki) from Moline. She leaped 6-0.25 in 1981 as a junior in high school. 36 years later another Illinois prep could possibly accomplish the feat.  As 15-year-old Daebelliehn went 6-1ΒΌ outdoors and was invited to the U.S. Olympic training camp. That mark is still a state record. 

Daebelliehn won an Illinois state championship in the high jump as a sophomore in 1980 but tore ligaments in her knee while playing flag football in PE class as a junior. She competed at the famous Drake Relays, but she wasn't able to equal successes she had when younger.