Project Triple Jump is Bahamas-bound
Bridging the end of its 5th year (2015-16) and the beginning of the 6th (2016-17), the NSAF's Project Triple Jump is headed to its annual clinic (Sept. 1-5) in Nassau, Bahamas to train with Head Coach and Bahamian national coach Peter Pratt and Project Coordinator Macka Jones. This is the 5th trip to train in Nassau. Plans are to then return to IMG Academy to train in early October and a mid-winter clinic is planned as well, possibly returning to Desert Vista, AZ.
Those who wish to join us in Nassau may register HERE.
Alumni Alert: Keturah Orji 4th in Rio!
U. of Georgia soph Keturah Orji (Project Class of '14) barely qualified for the final in her first Olympic triple jump, getting one fair jump in the trials – a 46-2.25 for 12th. But once in the finals, she unleashed the beast, hop-skip-and-jumping a jaw-dropping 48-3.25 on her first attempt, holding down 2nd after one round. Orji couldn’t improve on that mark, but did add three more jumps at 47-2 or better and finished in 4th place – just an inch away from a bronze medal. It was the highest finish ever by an American in the TJ, beating Sheila Hudson’s 10th from 1996, and matched her 4th at the World Indoor champs this past March (see below for more "alumni" notes).
Peter Pratt: Coach Pratt has been coaching track and field for more than 30 years. He is a former Bahamian triple jumper, winner of the inaugural CARIFTA Games, NCAA Champion and current Bahamian National team coach. Pratt is an IAAF Level V Diploma Elite Coach for Horizontal Jumps and currently coaches Jumper's INC. He has developed countless triple jumpers over the past two decades, including the Mimms twins currently bursting onto the international junior scene and gold and bronze medalists at a recent World Youth Championships. In 2001 he began a 3-year stint as National Jumps Coach for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has coached athletes that eventually went on to be medalist at every level of the sport. He normally represents the Bahamas on occasions at various international events.
Coach Macka L. Jones is the NSAF’s Project Triple Jump Coordinator. He has been coaching track and field for over 14 years and is IAAF Level V Certified in the Jumps and USATF Level II certified in the sprints, hurdles, jumps, and endurance events. He also holds a technical coaching certification from the USTFCCCA. A former All Conference Triple Jumper at the University of Texas at El Paso, Jones has dedicated himself to the study and discipline of the jumping events. Prior to working with NSAF he was the head coach of a championship track and field and cross country team at El Dorado High School in El Paso, TX and co-founder of the Texas Heat Track Club, a team that has produced several national champions in the long and triple jump such as Felix Obi (now at Baylor University), Felicienne Axel, and most recently Keandre Bates who represented the US at the 2013 World Youth Championships.
Bahamian Tradition of Triple Jump Excellence
More information on the Triple Jump Tradition of the Bahamas can be found HERE.
2015-16 in Review
Project Triple Jumpers enjoyed another great campaign during the 2015-16 season. In the fall, we trained for the first time at IMG Academy, where the many highlights included learning from and working with Olympic LJ gold medalist Dwight Phillips. In January, we returned to the outstanding facility at Desert Vista, AZ, for some mild weather winter training. With the annual Bahamas clinic being a little later this year, it will serve as a bridge of sorts between seasons.
Here is a list of some of the top achievements for our jumpers this past season:
Chinne Okoronkwo made her 3rd Team USA when she took 2nd at USA Juniors (42-2.25) to qualify for the IAAF World U20 Championships in Poland (17th in qualifying). In her previous national team berths, she won bronze at the '15 Pan Am Juniors (42-1.25w) and made the 'A' final at the '14 Youth Olympics.
Jasmine Moore, one of two Project newcomers, bounded 43-5.25w on her final attempt to win NBNO and set an all-conditions 9th-grade national mark. Chinne was 2nd at 42-2.25, matching her runner-up finish in '15, and Jaimie Robinson -- who has trained with the Project on multiple occasions -- was 3rd at 41-10.5. For the boys, Jalen Seals was 8th in each horizontal.
Chinne leapt 42-11.75 at NBNI to win by more than 2 feet, becoming #6 all-time indoors, and Jaimie was 4th at 40-2.75. For the boys, Jalen was 3rd in the LJ (24-4.25) and 9th in the TJ (47-6.25) -- just off his indoor PRs of 24-6.25 and 48-0.5 from his Great Southwest sweep.
Jasmine and fellow freshman newcomer Koi Johnson each captured Junior Olympic national outdoor titles. Moore took the USA 15-16 title at 42-2.75w and was also 2nd in the LJ. Johnson won the AAU 15-16s at 40-2.25, with Allyson Weiss hitting a PR 39-2.5 for 3rd. Also, Jaimie was 3rd in the AAU 17-18s at 40-11.75.
Jalen, Jamie and Arielle Mack competed with Team NSAF at the Barrientos Memorial in Cuba (annual CSI trip). Jamie leapt 41-0 (9th) and Arielle 37-9 (12th) in TJ qualifying, while Jalen jumped 45-5 (11th).
Ja'Mari Ward, who trained with the Project as a sophomore and junior, capped off his senior year at the World U20 Champs -- where he made the long jump final with a dramatic PR and US-leading 26-1.5 on his last qualifying attempt, moving him from 13th to 1st. In the final, he was 6th with 25-2.25. Ja'Mari had won USA Juniors with a 25-8.75 in his first meet back from injury (he was 6th in the TJ). Before the injury, he had leapt a US-leading 53-7.5 in a mid-season invite.
Freshman Marcus Floyd was 2nd at the AAU Club Champs 15-16s, leaping 44-7.5 -- 2nd only to his 45-4 PR back in February. Jordyn Lesh hit her season and career best of 39-1 at the Scott Hartman Relays, then defended her D-II state title. Saudia James-Heard hit her seasonal peak at Arcadia, where she hit 39-0.5 for 5th.
Tara Davis, the 2015 World Youth champ who trained with the Project at IMG, led the nation on the wind-legal list, with her winning 43-2 from the Texas Relays.
Keturah Orji (Mt. Olive, NJ HS '14) has continued to see her career skyrocket at U. of Georgia, culminating in a 4th-place finish and American Record 48-3.25 at the Rio Olympic Games (see above). Keturah's mark broke the 47-8 standard she set in winning her 3rd NCAA title (2 out, 1 in) in June. She then won the Trials to confirm her place atop U.S. women's triple jumping. She also was 4th at the IAAF World Indoor Champs in March. Orji had an epic prep career while in the Project. She won six NBN titles in the TJ and long jump – including sweeping the indoor and outdoor TJs her last two years and winning all four in/out horizontals as a senior – and had 10 total All-American finishes. She won LJ silver and TJ bronze at the ’13 World Youth champs, the latter with prep history’s #2 performance at 44-11 (just ¾” off the HSR), and took 9th in the ’14 World Junior TJ.
KeAndre Bates (El Paso Burges, TX HS '14) has had an outstanding two years at U. of Florida, including scoring 14 pts. to help lead the Gators to the '16 NCAA outdoor title. He was 2nd in the TJ with an all-conditions PR 54-10.75 and 3rd in the LJ at 25-8. He followed that with a 6th in the Olympic Trials LJ with an all-conditions PR 27-3.75 and 9th in the TJ (54-1.75). He also won the Pan Am Junior title in '15. As a prep, KeAndre led qualifiers in the 2013 World Youth TJ, leaping a US#2 51-6.25 before getting 9th in the final at 50-8.25. As a senior, he was 2nd in both NBN triple jumps and 3rd at USATF Juniors, just missing the Worlds team. He also leapt a US#2 50-9.5 to win Great Southwest.
Darrielle McQueen (North Fla. Christian, FL HS '14) has made strong progress in two years as a Florida Gator, highlighted by PRs in the indoor SEC's this past winter as she was 2nd to Orji in the TJ at 44-8 and 5th in the LJ at 21-4.25. She qualified for the Olympic Trials in both horizontals and has made NCAA TJ or LJ finals five times. She was 2nd in the NACAC U-23 TJ this summer. As a prep, Darrielle won the '13 CSI TJ before joining the Project. As a senior in '14, she was runner-up to Orji in the NBNI triple jump with a PR 41-3.5, 3rd in the Great Southwest TJ, and won numerous 1A state and invitational titles in Florida.
The ongoing goal of this project is to identify emerging elite youth and junior triple jump talent and provide them with the best technical and training methods available, and to maximize their development to international level jumpers in order represent the United States in Olympic/World Championship events.
State-of-the-art coaching and training instruction is available to any coaches and athletes who attend the camps, in addition to the selected and sponsored throwers in this program. In a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S., Project Triple Jump brings the top U.S. and Bahamanian triple jump coaches together to provide a level of understanding and education about triple jump technique and training never before available in the U.S.
The clinic is open to any interested coaches and athletes for observation and interaction with our coaching staff. Coaches and athletes are encouraged to film, ask questions and generally be involved so they can gain maximum benefit from the Project.
NOTE TO COLLEGIATE COACHES
We welcome all NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA College coaches to attend our clinics.