RTHS grad Headon sets new long jump world record

Rochelle graduate Aubrey Headon flies into the long jump pit during the 2020 Texas vs. World track and field event earlier this month. Headon, a Paralympic athlete, set an unofficial T35 class world record jump with a mark of 2.8 meters. (Photo by Joshua Mays)

Unofficial record of 2.8 meters set at 2020 Texas vs. World track meet

Aubrey Headon had been training hard to compete in the virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. While the RTHS graduate and U.S. Paralympic track and field standout still plans to race in the event later this month, she temporarily halted her training so she could link up with her high school field event coach, Vic Worthington, and prepare for the 2020 Texas vs. The World track and field competition in Marble Falls, Texas, roughly 1,100 miles south of the Hub City.

The global event, which brought together some of the best USA Track & Field athletes from across the country, took place over the first weekend of October, with Headon competing in the 100-meter dash and the long jump. Her training certainly showed during the meet, as Headon set a new unofficial long jump world record for her classification (T-35), hitting a mark of 2.80 meters, which eclipsed the current record of 2.66 meters that was set by an Australian athlete.

“The event atmosphere was great and I had a lot of fun watching USATF master’s level athletes compete against each other,” Headon said. “I was really excited when I set the record and I still had one jump left, but I had to make sure everything was done correctly for ratification.”

Headon, who currently competes with the Carroll University women’s track and field program, said she began her training three weeks prior to the Texas meet, coming home on weekends from her school in Waukesha, Wisconsin to train with Worthington. The former Lady Hub student-athlete said a clear mind and a strong performance in the 100-meter dash on the previous day were the biggest factors in her record-setting showing in the long jump.

“My mindset going into the event was making sure I did everything I could to set myself up for success and to just jump,” Headon said. “I tried not to worry about my performance because if the record happened, it happened, and if it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen.”

The Texas track and field meet was Headon’s first since she saw her freshman season at Carroll University cut short due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Headon has been running as many distance races as she can to stay in shape, and she’ll be restarting her training for the virtual Marine Corps Marathon she plans to run later this month.

“My goals for the future are to complete this marathon and continue to train in hopes that we will have track and field meets in the spring,” Headon said. “COVID-19 has shown us that everything can change quickly, but we have to continue to be positive.”