LAKEWOOD — Alex Hellenberg was already sitting in first place as she toed the line for her final attempt at the triple jump on Thursday.
The Skyline High School senior wanted to leave no doubt, however.
Hellenberg busted out a winning jump of 36 feet, 8 inches on her final attempt to secure the Class 4A girls triple jump title at Jefferson County Stadium.
"It's definitely really exciting," said Hellenberg, who was fourth in this event a year ago. "It was really fun to come and compete with all of the girls. We all were pretty close and that's what I was expecting and it's always fun to be competitive with people I like."
Three others were within a foot of Hellenberg, including Longmont senior Sydney Wetterstrom, who was fourth (35-8).
This event, however, belonged to Hellenberg, who became the first Skyline Falcon to win a state title since Chico Feltenberger won back-to-back boys shot put titles in 2011 and 2012. She is the first Falcons female champ since 1999, when Jill Fadenrecht set a 4A state meet record in the high jump — a record that still stands.
"Our new head coach (James Davis) has totally turned our program around," said Hellenberg, who will also compete in the long jump and pole vault this weekend. "We used to have, like, no one coming to state and now we have a bunch of people.
"It definitely means a lot for me to represent Skyline and see how much our team has grown over the past couple of years. It definitely means a lot to come out and get our name out there."
After placing in the top 10 at state in the high jump, long jump and triple jump last year, Hellenberg came into Thursday as the favorite to win. Still, she had some work to do this week to get ready.
"We've been working on changing the runs, so I don't scratch so much," she said. "I scratched a bunch of times at conference and it was really stressful."
On Thursday, she remained consistent and wound up on the top of the podium.
"It wasn't the mark I was aiming for, but I'm pretty happy with it anyway," she said.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.