Olympic Trials Women’s Triple Jump: The Keturah Orji Machine Rolls On

Keturah Orji’s fifth consecutive national title made her the triple’s first back-to-back OT winner. (KEVIN MORRIS)

AFTER HAVING A LIMITED 2020, Keturah Orji was on a mission. The AR holder has been on a roll lately, but with former standardbearer Tori Franklin always lurking, nothing is ever certain.

After watching Franklin go 45-8½ (13.93), then having Georgia frosh Jasmine Moore better that with her 46-¾ (14.04) in their first-round attempts, Orji, herself a former Dawg, decided to make a statement of her own. She responded with 47-3 (14.40), just 2 inches off the Meet Record and set the tone that this would be a game of catch me if you can.

In round 2, both Orji and Franklin fouled and Moore did not improve, but former Princeton Tiger Imani Oliver got into the mix with a 45-5 (13.84) that landed her in 4th.

The third round saw Franklin and Moore improve their marks, with Franklin’s 46-7¼ (14.20) surpassing Moore for 2nd. Orji didn’t improve, but still jumped further than anyone else with her 47-1¾ (14.37).

Down to the final 8, there were no improvements in stanzas 4 and 5, yet both of Orji’s performances — 46-9 (14.25) and 46-11¾ (14.32) — also topped the field.

On her final attempt, Oliver did not improve and remained in 4th with her 44-10¾ (13.68). Up next was Moore and with her place on the team secure, she gave an excellent effort, but fouled.

Encouraging the crowd with emphatic hand clapping, Franklin was next and she as bounded into the pit, she patiently waited to see if her effort was good enough to overtake Orji’s 47-3 (14.40), but when 47-1½ (14.36) was posted and realizing she came up just short, she turned and waved to the crowd.

With victory assured, Orji made sure she gave the crowd something more to cheer about as she stretched out to an MR 47-7¾ (14.52).

Asked if she was encouraged by her last jump, Franklin relayed, “I know that I have so much more in this. This is just the beginning. I know this is towards the end of the season, but this is the beginning for me.”

Orji, too, was happy with her final effort, saying “I was happier with my last jump because it was further. I want to put out a more consistent series in that 14–15 area. I’m really happy with my consistency, so I want to work on that when I go back home.”

When asked if having been to an Olympics is a benefit, she replied, “I think it will. No matter what experience you have. You never know, anything can happen at the Olympics. I’m going to expect more from myself. I’m hoping I will be prepared and can put my best jump out there that I’ve ever had.”

WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

(June 20)

1. Keturah Orji (AtlTC) 47-7¾ (14.52) (MR)

(47-3, f, 47-1¾, 46-9, 46-11¾, 47-7¾) (14.40, f, 14.37, 14.25, 14.32, 14.52);

2. Tori Franklin (Nik) 47-1½ (14.36)

(45-8½, f, 46-7¼, 46-6¾, f, 47-1½) (13.93, f, 14.20, 14.19, f, 14.36);

3. Jasmine Moore (Ga) 46-5¼ (14.15)

(46-¾, 46-0, 46-5¼, f, 46-0, f) (14.04, 14.02, 14.15, f, 14.02, f);

4. Imani Oliver (unat) 45-5 (13.84)

(f, 45-5, 43-5¼, 44-8¼, 45-1¾, 44-10¾) (f, 13.84, 13.24, 13.62, 13.76, 13.68);

5. Crystal Manning (unat) 44-10¾ (13.68)

(42-5½, f, 44-½, 43-2¼, f, 44-10¾) (12.94, f, 13.42, 13.16, f, 13.68);

6. Michelle Fokam (Rice) 44-8¼ (13.62)

(42-4, 44-2¾, f, 44-6, f, 44-8¼) (12.90, 13.48, f, 13.56, f, 13.62);

7. Arianna Fisher (Mo) 44-6¼ (13.57) PR

(42-2, f, 44-6¼, 41-9¼, f, 43-11¼) (12.85, f, 13.57, 12.73, f, 13.39);

8. Titiana Marsh (Ga) 44-½ (13.42)

(41-10, 44-½, f, f, f, 43-1) (12.75, 13.42, f, f, f, 13.13);

9. Lynnika Pitts (unat) 43-8¾ (13.33)

(f, 43-6, 43-8¾) (f, 13.26, 13.33);

10. Leah Moran (In) 43-7¾ (13.30)

(43-1¾, f, 43-7¾) (13.15, f, 13.30);

11. Alex Madlock (Bay) 42-11¾ (13.10)

(42-8¼, 42-2¼, 42-11¾) (13.01, 12.86, 13.10);

12. Kiana Davis (unat) 42-5¼ (12.93)

(f, 41-1½, 42-5¼) (f, 12.53, 12.93).

QUALIFYING (June 18)

Qualifiers: Orji 46-10¾ (14.29), Moore 46-¾ (14.04), Franklin 45-5 (13.84), Fokam 45-3 (13.79), Pitts 44-9¾w (13.66), Moran 44-3¼ (13.49), Manning 44-1¼w (13.44), Oliver 44-¾ (13.43), Marsh 44-¾w (13.43), Madlock 43-6 (13.26), Fisher 43-1¾ (13.15), Davis 43-1¾ (13.15);

Non-qualifiers: Dominique Ruotolo (Or) 42-11½w (13.09), Harleigh White (unat) 42-9w (13.03), Sophia Falco (Tx) 42-7½ (12.99), Adja Sackor (Jack) 42-4¾ (12.92), Bria Matthews (GaT) 42-3½ (12.89), Mylana Hearn (DBTC) 42-3¼ (12.88), Sammy Evans (unat) 42-0 (12.80), Alexa Wandy (unat) 41-7¾ (12.69), Ryann Porter (InSt) 41-7¾w (12.69), Essence Thomas (Ok) 40-11½ (12.48), Makenzy Mizera (Lib) 40-4¾ (12.31).

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