Olympic Trials Women’s Long Jump — 4-Peat For Brittney Reese

Not since ’04 has there been a women’s OT long jump that didn’t have Brittney Reese on top. (KEVIN MORRIS)

THE GUARD MAY BE CHANGING in other events, but the long jump is still the domain of ’12 Olympic gold medalist Brittney Reese. The 34-year-old Mississippi native went to the lead on her first jump of 22-9¼w (6.94) and never relinquished that position in winning her fourth straight OT crown.

After three rounds, the biggest threat to the 7-time World champ (in/out) came from NCAA champion Tara Davis, who had entered the meet with a U.S.-leading mark of 23-5¼ (7.14).

The newly minted Texan (safe to say now that she’s wearing a cowboy hat) had flown 22-8½ (6.92) on her first. Former Cal jumper Malaina Payton hit 21-11½ (6.69) in round 3 to move into 3rd, then was nipped by Mississippi State alum Tiffany Flynn on the very next jump at 22-1¾ (6.75).

A poignant moment for fans came when ’16 Olympic champ Tianna Bartoletta bowed to them after her farewell from the competition, her 21-5½ (6.54) landing her 10th.

In round 4, Davis appeared to nail a big one, celebrating before sharing the disappointment of the crowd when the red flag came up. She inspected what the judges pointed out on the plasticine, but didn’t look very happy about it. Reese followed up with a 23-4 (7.11) to put the lead farther away from Davis.

If numbers mean anything, round 5 was the best. Quanesha Burks came from 6th to 3rd with her PR 22-10 (6.96). Both Payton (22-3½/6.79) and Flynn (22-3¾/6.80 PR) also improved, but not enough to get back into the medal race.

Then Davis went big again, a 23-1¼ (7.04) that marked her second legal effort ever over 7-meters. Reese doubled down, landing at 23-4¾ (7.13) to extend her lead.

In the final round the only improvement in the top 6 went to WC finalist Shakeela Saunders at 22-¼ (6.71), a mark that didn’t improve her 6th-place. Both Davis and Reese closed out with 23-½ (7.02) efforts, with Reese’s being slightly (2.1) windy.

Said Reese, “I’m still one of the best women long jumpers in this world. I will prove it again, time and time again. Now I’m going to Tokyo to hopefully prove it again.”

She also indicated it will her last dance in the 5-ring circus: “It’s bittersweet. My time has come. I got one goal done, which was making the team, now it’s time to win gold.”

Davis had no problems with her performance: “I’m shocked still because 7m [22-11¾] as a jumper is the biggest thing ever. Hitting it in the Olympic Trials is unreal.”

She added, “I’m freaking jumping with my idol, Brittney Reese. Being with her and competing with her in 2016 I was so starstruck. I was like, ‘I see her on TV and now I’m jumping with her.’”

WOMEN’S LONG JUMP RESULTS

(June 26) (winds ranged from +2.4 to –0.3)

1. Brittney Reese (Nik) 23-4¾ (7.13)

(22-9¼w, 22-4¼, 22-8, 23-4, 23-4¾, 23-½w) (6.94w, 6.81, 6.91, 7.11, 7.13, 7.02w);

2. Tara Davis (Tx) 23-1¼ (7.04)

(22-8½, 22-1½, 22-1¾, f, 23-1¼, 23-½) (6.92, 6.74, 6.75, f, 7.04, 7.02);

3. Quanesha Burks (adi) 22-10 (6.96) PR

(21-11, 21-11, 21-10, 21-¾, 22-10, 21-8¾) (6.68, 6.68, 6.65, 6.42, 6.96, 6.62);

4. Tiffany Flynn (unat) 22-3¾ (6.80) PR

(21-4¼, 21-8¼, 22-1¾, 20-9¼, 22-3¾, 20-11¼) (6.51, 6.61, 6.75, 6.33, 6.80, 6.38);

5. Malaina Payton (Ois) 22-3½ (6.79)

(21-3½, 21-6, 21-11½, 20-10½, 22-3½, 21-10¼) (6.49, 6.55, 6.69, 6.36, 6.79, 6.66);

6. Shakeela Saunders (adi) 22-¼ (6.71)

(f, 21-7¼, 21-8¼w, 21-11¾, 21-2½, 22-¼) (f, 6.58, 6.61w, 6.70, 6.46, 6.71);

7. Keturah Orji (AtlTC) 21-11w (6.68)

(21-11w, f, f, f, 21-9½, 21-9½) (6.68w, f, f, f, 6.64, 6.64);

8. Jasmine Todd (Tracksm) 21-10 (6.65)

(f, 21-10, 21-2¾, 20-1, f, f) (f, 6.65, 6.47, 6.12, f, f);

9. Bria Matthews (GaT) 21-6 (6.55)

(21-3½, 20-4½, 21-6) (6.49, 6.21, 6.55);

10. Tianna Bartoletta (unat) 21-5½ (6.54)

(21-5½, 20-3¾, 20-6½) (6.54, 6.19, 6.26);

11. Aliyah Whisby (LSU) 21-4¼ (6.51)

(19-11½, 21-4¼, 20-7¼) (6.08, 6.51, 6.28);

12. Claire Bryant (Fl) 20-9¾ (6.34)

(20-7¾, f, 20-9¾) (6.29, f, 6.34).

QUALIFYING (June 24)

Qualifiers: Reese 22-6¼ (6.86), Burks 22-4¼ (6.81), Flynn 22-¾ (6.72), Davis 21-11 (6.68), Payton 21-9½ (6.64), Todd 21-9½ (6.64), Saunders 21-7¼ (6.58), Orji 21-5½ (6.54), Bartoletta 21-5½ (6.54), Whisby 20-11¾ (6.39), Matthews 20-9¼ (6.33), Bryant 20-7¾ (6.29);

Non-qualifiers: Jada Seaman (Va) 20-5¾w (6.24), Jasmyn Steels (NWnLa) 20-4¼ (6.20), Madisen Richards (unat) 20-1½ (6.13), Sydney Conley (unat) 20-½ (6.11), Adreanna Parlette (Belm) 19-4¾ (5.91), Kenyattia Hackworth (unat) 17-8¼ (5.39);… 3f—Rhesa Foster (Or), Monae’ Nichols (TxT), Michelle Fokam (Rice), Alysah Hickey (Or).

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