Tyra Gittens disturbed the sand at 6.68 metres to seize women’s long jump silver at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, on Thursday night.
After four jumps, Gittens was in seventh spot and in danger of missing the podium, her best leap up to that point—6.36m—having come in the opening round. The Texas A&M University student, however, stepped up her game in round five, jumping into medal contention with a 6.56m effort.
Going into the sixth and final round, Gittens was third. But there was more to come, the Trinidad and Tobago athlete snatching silver with the 6.68 leap. Tara Davis of the United States was golden at 6.70, the University of Texas sophomore beating Gittens by a mere two centimetres. Another American, Jasmine Moore jumped 6.65m to claim bronze. Also on Thursday, T&T sprinter Kadesha Prescott anchored University of South Florida to fifth in heat two and 15th overall in the women’s 4x100 metres relay in 44.15 seconds. The top nine teams progressed to the final.
At press time, yesterday, Gittens was competing in the women’s heptathlon shot put. After the first two disciplines—100m hurdles and high jump—he was first with 2,085 points. The 23-year-old clocked 13.46 seconds in the sprint hurdles and cleared 1.84m in the high jump.
After the shot put, Gittens closed off day one of the seven-discipline event in section one of the 200m. The hep concludes today with the long jump, javelin and 800. At the 2019 NCAA Championships, Gittens earned heptathlon silver. Two years later, she is the favourite for gold. Gittens will also be in action today in the individual high jump.
After press time, last night, University of Kentucky quartermiler Dwight St Hillaire competed in the men’s 400m and 4x400m finals, while Akanni Hislop represented Louisiana State University (LSU) in the men’s 4x100m championship race.