USATF Women’s Triple Jump — Orji Wins Again, Looking For More

A record fourth title in a row came Keturah Orji’s way, and that left her thinking long jump. (MIKE SCOTT)

KETURAH ORJI continued her dominance of American triple jumping, winning the national title for a record fourth time. Even Tori Franklin—owner of the AR indoors and out—found herself behind the jumper she has never beaten in 11 tries dating back to ’14. The only man to win as many consecutively (John Craft 1971–74) dates back to when the event wasn’t even held for women. The women’s record for most titles overall is Sheila Hudson at 7, but she never won more than 2 in a row. Of her 4-peat she said, “It’s unbelievable when I think where I came from and to be in this position is amazing. I can’t put into words what this means. I hope to go into Worlds really confident.”

But Orji, still just 23, is looking for more: her first USATF long jump title. No woman has won both horizontal jump titles… not just in the same year: ever. Orji, who captured last year’s NCAA long jump in her final season at Georgia, hasn’t lost a long jump competition this year.

This year’s soggy competition—it began raining for the second around—went much as predicted. The anticipated matchup of Orji vs. Franklin got an initial spark when Franklin followed a first-round foul with a seasonal best 47-1½ (14.36) in round 2. Unfortunately, she was already playing catchup to Orji, who had opened with a 47-9¼ (14.56) that wound up as the winning mark and is the No. 12 performance in U.S. history. She was just short of matching her stadium record of 47-10½ (14.59) set winning last year’s title.

She had another one of her typically wonderful series—three jumps (almost four) over 47 feet, plus two passes. After passing her fifth attempt she was warmed up and ready to go for the last one, wearing a raincoat and holding an umbrella, but when she saw that Franklin had not taken the lead on her sixth jump, she waved to the crowd and called it a night.

“I was really happy getting that first jump in. I’ve always tried to do that,” the exuberant Orji said afterward. Technically, she’s working on the transition from the second to third segment: “I feel like I’m flat on my third phase and I want to be higher.”

Orji and Franklin are the only Americans to have reached the IAAF standard of 46-7¼ (14.20), and none of their compatriots are likely to be invited to fill the field. Only one other approached 46-feet here, Imani Oliver at 45-5¾ (13.86).


USATF WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

(July 25; winds varied from +2.3 to 0.0)

1. Keturah Orji (AtlTC) 47-9¼ (14.56) (x, 12 A)

(47-9¼, 47-7¼, 46-10¼, 47-4½w, p, p) (14.56, 14.51, 14.28, 14.44w, p, p);

2. Tori Franklin (Nik) 47-1½ (14.36)

(f, 47-1½, 44-6¾, 45-5¼, 46-9½, 45-11¼) (f, 14.36, 13.58, 13.85, 14.26, 14.00);

3. Imani Oliver (unat) 45-5¾ (13.86)

(44-9¾, f, 45-1¾, 45-5¾, f, 44-5½) (13.66, f, 13.76, 13.86, f, 13.55);

4. Lynnika Pitts (unat) 44-3½ (13.50)

(43-4½, f, f, 43-10½, 44-3½, f) (13.22, f, f, 13.37, 13.50, f);

5. Tiffany Flynn (unat) 43-9¾ (13.35)

(43-9¾, 42-11½, 43-1¾, 42-8¼w, 42-10¼, f) (13.35, 13.09, 13.15, 13.01w, 13.06, f);

6. Ciynamon Stevenson (TxAM) 43-5¼ (13.24)

(43-5¼, 42-8, 41-8½, 42-6¼, f, f) (13.24, 13.00, 12.71, 12.96, f, f);

7. Crystal Manning (unat) 43-¼ (13.11);

8. LaChyna Roe (Tn) 42-11¾ (13.10);

9. Chaquinn Cook (Or) 42-5½ (12.94);

10. Kelly McKee (unat) 42-2¼ (12.86);

11. Cierra Pulliam (unat) 42-2 (12.85);

12. Michelle Fokam (unat) 41-7¾ (12.69);

13. Viershanie Latham (unat) 41-6½ (12.66);

14. Bria Matthews (GaT) 39-5 (12.01);

15. Tay Nance (HousB) 39-1¼ (11.92). ◻︎

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