USATF Women’s Triple Jump — Yet Another For Orji

Not since 2015 has Keturah Orji failed to win the USATF title. (KEVIN MORRIS)

A SIXTH CONSECUTIVE championship for Keturah Orji ended up as routine as it was supposed to be, but there was a brief moment of drama.

On the penultimate jump of the fourth round, Tori Franklin popped off a 47-10½ (14.59) that pushed her past the favorite and into the lead. It was the first indication Orji had a fight on her hands, the first question asked of her on a day that was supposed to be a coronation.

Orji had to respond, and that went right as expected. With a near-perfect legal 1.8 tailwind, she answered with a season’s-best, meet-record 48-6¼ (14.79) that stands as the No. 3 performance in American history and the second-best for Orji. The coronation was back on.

“I was really, really happy with today,” she said. “I’m ready to build on it. My goal was to jump further than my season’s best and that’s what I did. I’m looking forward to Worlds and being able to replicate what I did today. My season was pretty average up until today so I was happy to come away with this performance and to win. It’s not easy to win all the time. When I was younger I took it for granted so I’m happy to be in this position.”

What the 26-year-old Orji did while continuing her domestic domination of the event that dates back to ’16 was show she’s in fine form heading into Worlds, where she’s a contender for her first medal on that stage.

She opened with a 47-2¼ (14.38) to establish a lead that held into the fourth round, then fouled her second and third attempts. After Franklin threw the gauntlet to Orji, Orji went 47-10½, 47-9¾ and 46-9½ (14.59/14.57/14.26) on her final three attempts.

Franklin did end up with the second best jump of the competition and her best jump of the year for silver, while Florida’s NCAA champ Jasmine Moore grabbed the third team spot at Worlds with a 46-5¼ (14.15).

Ultimately the day was supposed to be about Orji and one of the meet’s biggest favorites showed why.


WOMEN’S TRIPLE JUMP RESULTS

(June 25; winds ranged from +2.7 to –1.6)

1. Keturah Orji (Miz) 48-6¼ (14.79) (AL) (x, 3 A) (MR)

(47-2¼, f, f, 48-6¼, 47-9¾, 46-9½) (14.38, f, f, 14.79, 14.57, 14.26);

2. Tori Franklin (Nik/NYAC) 47-10½ (14.59)

(f, 45-7, 46-4, 47-10½, f, f) (f, 13.89, 14.12, 14.59, f, f);

3. Jasmine Moore (Fl) 46-5¼ (14.15)

(46-1½, 45-11¼, f, 45-1¾, 46-1½, 46-5¼) (14.06, 14.00, f, 13.76, 14.06, 14.15);

4. Arianna Fisher (Mo) 44-8¾ (13.63)

(43-7, f, 44-8¾, 44-½, f, 44-3½) (13.28, f, 13.63, 13.42, f, 13.50);

5. Imani Oliver (unat) 44-1½ (13.45);

6. Lexi Ellis (Or) 43-9¼ (13.34);

7. Cierra Pulliam (unat) 43-1 (13.13);

8. Jaimie Robinson (OhSt) 42-11¾ (13.10);

9. Kiana Davis (unat) 42-11¾ (13.10); 10. Titiana Marsh (Ga) 42-11¾ (13.10); 11. Harleigh White (Clem) 42-4¼ (12.91); 12. Kennedy Marable (Cinc) 42-4 (12.90); 13. Alexa Wandy (Tracks) 42-¾ (12.82); 14. Jada Branch (AppSt) 41-9¼ (12.73); 15. Ryann Porter (InSt) 40-11¾ (12.49); 16. Ashley Anderson (unat) 40-4¼ (12.30). ◻︎

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