Lyle/Pacelli long jumper ready for state meet

Published 5:56 pm Monday, June 1, 2009

The Lyle/Pacelli track and field team got a boost from overseas this season as one of their foreign exchange students is heading to the Class ‘A’ state track and field meet.

Philline Wittur, a junior from Germany, will compete in the long jump at Hamline University in St. Paul this Friday at 3 p.m.

Wittur is not sure what to expect at the state meet.

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“I don’t really know what it is, but I’m excited,” she said. “I’m not nervous yet, but I think it will come the day before.”

Her qualifying distance of 16 feet, 11.25 inches is the 10th best distance at the state meet, but L/P head track coach Anne Christopherson feels Wittur is capable of more.

“I think she can do an 18 foot jump,” Christopherson said. “If she gets her steps down she can fly and that’s what we’re looking for.”

Wittur didn’t compete in the long jump in Germany last year, but she did the two previous years. She almost took on softball at L/P, but changed her mind at the last minute.

Now she’s made a ripple in the L/P track program.

“Whether she realizes it or not, it’s huge for L/P,” Christopherson said. “It’s sparked a lot of new interest in the kids. They’re excited for her and she’s an inspiration for them.”

Wittur will head back to Germany Thursday, June 11. But she has one more stop before she departs.

“It’s pretty cool going to state. I also get to go to Valley Fair, which is the best of all,” she said. “We had a deal if I get to state I get to go to Valley Fair.”

Wittur is the first L/P girl to go to state in at least four years.

Wittur’s host family is Swen and Heather Neufeldt.