NCAA Women’s Triple Jump — Lawrence’s Last-Round Surprise

Shardia Lawrence was rather pleased to have won the TJ in such dramatic fashion. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Shardia Lawrence recalled her feelings as she stood on the runway before the final triple jump of the day: “I didn’t know for sure, but I knew I had something.”

The Kansas State senior had started out in round 1 with a leap of 43-7¾ (13.30). That put her in 4th place. The best opening jump came from Oregon’s Chaquinn Cook, who led at 45-¼ (13.72).

Virginia’s Kelly McNee held 2nd at 43-10½ (13.37) and Texas A&M’s Ciynamon Stevenson was 3rd with a PR 43-10 (13.36). Favored Yanis David of Florida lurked in 5th after jumping 43-5¼ (13.24).

Lawrence, competing at the same time as her twin sister Shadae in the discus, improved to 44-4¼ (13.52) in the second go-round, a mark that took her to 2nd, displacing McKee, who herself had improved to 44-4 (13.51).

On her third attempt, Lawrence bounced to the lead with a PR 45-3¾ (13.81). David followed with an improvement to 44-8¼ (13.62). Kentucky senior Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile finally hit her step and produced a 44-8 (13.61) that took her from 20th to 4th.

No one improved in round 4; Lawrence fouled, but it’s unlikely she felt safe. Sure enough, in the next stanza the big jumps started dropping.

First Ebwea-Bile leaped 45-6¼ (13.87) to take over the lead. Then two jumps later, David produced a 45-6¼ of her own, moving ahead in the standings on the basis of her next best jump. Lawrence, jumping last in the order, put together a 45-2¼ (13.77), the second-best jump of her life. And it kept her in 3rd.

In the final four jumps, first Ebwea-Bile closed her day with a 40-11½ (12.48). Cook fouled. David, the winner of the long jump two days before, produced a brilliant 45-8½ (13.93) and only had to wait out one jump to celebrate a double victory.

Lawrence, though, had other ideas: “I know that they are great athletes. I’ve been training a long time for this. I’ve been training so hard and I was telling myself that I wasn’t going to let that go to waste.”

She ran with an 0.2 wind at her back, hitting the board with two inches to spare. On landing, she immediately bounced out of the pit and ran to see the measure: 45-10¾ (13.99). She started crying and collapsed to the ground.

“I knew I had something big,” she said. “It was amazing and my sister, she told me I could win, and I believed. And my family back home in Jamaica told me I could win. I knew that my future depended on this day… I knew I had that one surprise for everybody.”


NCAA WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

FINAL

(June 08; (winds ranged from –2.8 to +1.4)

1. Shardia Lawrence’ (KsSt) 45-10¾ (13.99) PR (7, x NCAA)

(43-7¾, 44-4¼, 45-3¾, f, 45-2¼, 45-10¾) (13.30, 13.52, 13.81, f, 13.77, 13.99);

2. Yanis David’ (Fl) 45-8½ (13.93)

(43-5¼, 43-7, 44-8¼, 44-9¾, 45-6¼, 45-8½) (13.24, 13.28, 13.62, 13.66, 13.87, 13.93);

3. Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile’ (Ky) 45-6¼ (13.87)

(f, 40-11¾, 44-8, f, 45-6¼, 40-11½) (f, 12.49, 13.61, f, 13.87, 12.48);

4. Chaquinn Cook (Or) 45-¼ (13.72)

(45-¼, 44-¾, f, 44-2, 44-9¾, f) (13.72, 13.43, f, 13.46, 13.66, f);

5. Kelly McKee (Va) 44-4 (13.51)

(43-10½, 44-4, f, 43-3, 43-7¾, f) (13.37, 13.51, f, 13.18, 13.30, f);

6. ***Mirieli Santos’ (Mo) 44-2 (13.46) PR

(40-8¾, 43-2½, 43-9¼, 43-9¼, 44-2, 44-2) (12.41, 13.17, 13.34, 13.34, 13.46, 13.46);

7. *Ciynamon Stevenson (TxAM) 43-10 (13.36) PR

(43-10, f, f, 42-6¾, f, 41-11½) (13.36, f, f, 12.97, f, 12.79);

8. Tiffany Flynn (MsSt) 43-8½ (13.32)

(43-3, 37-11¼, 43-8½, 34-8¼, 43-7, 43-4½) (13.18, 11.56, 13.32, 10.57, 13.28, 13.22);

9. ***Alonie Sutton (Tn) 43-7¼ (13.29) PR;

10. LaChyna Roe (Tn) 43-3¾ (13.20);

11. Ja’la Henderson (Wy) 43-3¾;

12. *Kala Penn’ (Fl) 43-2½ (13.17);

13. *Leah Moran (In) 43-1¾ (13.15) PR;

14. *Michelle Fokam (Rice) 43-1 (13.13);

15. ***Titiana Marsh (Ga) 43-½ (13.12);

16. **Essence Thomas (Ok) 42-7½ (12.99);

17. Nicole Iloanya (SMU) 42-6¾ (12.97);

18. *Bria Matthews (GaT) 42-4¾ (12.92);

19. *LaJarvia Brown (TxAM) 42-4 (12.90);

20. Jehvania Whyte’ (NnIl) 42-1½ (12.84);

21. Georgia Wahl (Tx) 42-1½;

22. Domonique Panton (Duke) 41-10½ (12.76);

23. ***Lexi Ellis (Or) 41-10 (12.75);

… 3f—*Eszter Bajnok’ (VaT).

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 2–4, 9)

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