If you were in Atlanta Monday and you don’t know who Brittany Porter is, it’s time to get your head out of the sand.  

She is now one of the nation’s all-time best. 

After setting a meet record long jump at Nike Indoor Nationals this year (20-7.25), the Towers High School senior blasted 21-3.5 to win the Dekalb County Championships in Atlanta, Monday. 

“Now everyone at our school is getting on board and is behind us,” said Towers Head Coach Edward Center. 

They ought to be. Brittany’s jump Monday is the #10 all-time, all-conditions mark recorded, and the nation’s best since 2001. And she’s not finished yet, either. 

Brittany is inching her way toward breaking the national high school long jump record of 21-7.5, set by Carroll Lewis in 1981.  

“I plan to break the record at the state meet,” Brittany said Tuesday. “And I’m trying to become the Nike Outdoor Nationals champion and the Junior Nationals Champion.” 

It’s all falling into place for her, Coach Center said. The years of careful dieting and closely monitored resistance-training programs (she can box squat 595 lbs.) are paying off right now. 

“She just really put her foot on the gas this year,” he said. 

Other standout efforts along her way this season include her 39-foot triple jump at Dekalb County on Monday – placing first and ranking her second in Georgia, and qualifying as “A standard” (6.40m or better) in the long jump for the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. 

Coach Center believes Brittany, also a two-time long-jump and 2008 triple jump AAA state champion, can lead Tower to a team title this year. Brittany is also training for the 100-meter dash because she genuinely wants her teammates to feel what it’s like to be a champion, he said.  

With the state championships six weeks away at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany, she’s working hard to see these goals attained, Center said, and will stop at nothing. 

“Hurt or not, she’s the kind of athlete that is still going to compete,” said Center. “Some athletes – they’ll whine about it – but she just goes out there and does it.  

“During the competition, it’s all go.”