NCAA Men’s Triple Jump — Triki Living The Dream

“It was my dream to be an NCAA champion,” said Tahar Triki. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

Coming off a disappointing 8th-place finish in Wednesday’s long jump, Tahar Triki felt a need for redemption. Having been in the U.S. for a mere 4 months and dealing with nagging injuries, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to save high expectations for Texas A&M soph for the ’19 season. But the 21-year-old Algerian would have none of that, as he bounded to a first-round lead and never looked back.

Off and on spells of rain (heavy at times) and a headwind plagued competitors (of the 95 jumps taken, only 18 did not have a headwind, with the strongest tailwind being just 0.6). Triki’s 53-¼ (16.16) opener put him in the lead and his second-round leap of 55-1 (16.79) would be the mark everyone else would be chasing for the rest of the afternoon.

Defending champion KeAndre Bates of Florida was in 2nd after round 2 with his 54-1¼ (16.49), followed by TCU’s duo of Scotty Newton (54-½/16.47) and Chengetayi Mapaya (53-1½/16.19).

The favored Bates would inch closer to Triki in the third (54-5¼/16.59) and fourth (54-6¾/16.63) stanzas, but in round 5 he had more than Triki to worry about, as Texas Tech’s Odaine Lewis jumped from 5th to 2nd with a PR 54-10¾ (16.73) that left him just 2½ inches from the lead.

Bates fouled on his penultimate attempt, so going into the final round it was Triki, followed by Lewis, Bates, Newton and Mapaya, who had improved—but remained in 5th—with a PR 53-10½ (16.42) in round 5.

Despite solid efforts by Lewis and Bates (both jumped 54-2¾/16.53), no one could improve their placing and Triki would bring home the second title in 3 years for the Aggies (Latario Collie won in ’16).

Triki summed up his afternoon by saying, “With the weather, rain and cold conditions, we didn’t search for a good mark, we just searched for a mark that would win the gold medal. It was a really good competition with KeAndre Bates as well as the guys from Texas Tech and TCU. When they passed me in the second round that excited me to do better.” With his day now complete, he added, “My first 2 months were really hard with injuries and everything, but now I’m really good. I know that I can jump far and I am so excited for next year. We have a lot of work to do.

“It was my dream to be an NCAA champion, and I am living my dream right now.”


NCAA MEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

(June 08)

(winds ranged from +0.6 to –1.7)

1. **Tahar Triki’ (TxAM) 55-1 (16.79)

(53-¼, 55-1, 52-10¼, 53-9, 54-7½, 55-0) (16.16, 16.79, 16.11, 16.38, 16.65, 16.76);

2. *Odaine Lewis’ (TxT) 54-10¾ (16.73) PR

(51-5¾, 53-¾, f, 52-10, 54-10¾, 54-2¾) (15.69, 16.17, f, 16.10, 16.73, 16.53);

3. KeAndre Bates (Fl) 54-6¾ (16.63)

(51-9¼, 54-1¼, 54-5¼, 54-6¾, f, 54-2¾) (15.78, 16.49, 16.59, 16.63, f, 16.53);

4. Scotty Newton (TCU) 54-½ (16.47) PR

(52-4¾, 54-½, 53-1, f, f, 51-9¾) (15.97, 16.47, 16.18, f, f, 15.79);

5. ***Chengetayi Mapaya’ (TCU) 53-10½ (16.42) PR

(51-6¼, 52-0, 53-1½, 52-6½, 53-10½, f) (15.70, 15.85, 16.19, 16.01, 16.42, f);

6. ***Christian Edwards (Al) 53-8½ (16.37) PR

(51-4¼, 50-4, 52-6, 51-¼, 51-11¼, 53-8½) (15.65, 15.34, 16.00, 15.55, 15.83, 16.37);

7. Darius Armstead (SacSt) 53-¾ (16.17)

(f, f, 53-¾, 46-8, f, f) (f, f, 16.17, 14.22, f, f);

8. **Clayton Brown’ (Fl) 52-10 (16.10)

(51-5½, 51-9¾, 52-10, f, 51-2¼, 51-11¾) (15.68, 15.79, 16.10, f, 15.60, 15.84);

9. Kaiwan Culmer’ (Nb) 52-9½ (16.09)

(51-6¼, 51-9¾, 52-9½, 51-2¾, 51-3½, f) (15.70, 15.79, 16.09, 15.61, 15.63, f);

10. **Jordan Scott’ (Va) 52-4½ (15.96);

11. Barden Adams (Ks) 52-2 (15.90);

12. *Brian Mada’ (DeP) 52-1¾ (15.89) PR;

13. David Oluwadara (BU) 52-½ (15.86);

14. ***Papay Glaywulu (Ok) 52-½;

15. *John Warren (SnMs) 52-½;

16. *DaJuan Seward (OhSt) 51-8¼ (15.75);

17. Jeremiah Green (Clem) 51-6½ (15.71);

18. *Tuomas Kaukolahti’ (Cal) 50-11½ (15.53);

19. *Craig Stevens (Kent) 50-4¾ (15.36);

20. *Markel Dalton (Char) 49-8¼ (15.14);

21. Darrel Jones (Lib) 49-2½ (15.00);

22. ***Zachary Johnson (SHous) 43-8½ (13.32);

… 3f—*Armani Wallace (FlSt).

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