Ackelia Smith Reigns Supreme with Record-Breaking Leap at Big 12 Conference
Ackelia Smith Reigns Supreme with Record-Breaking Leap at Big 12 Conference

Ackelia Smith, representing Texas, soared to victory in the Women’s Long Jump competition at the NCAA Championships on Thursday, securing another Jamaican top spot on the podium once again. Smith’s remarkable jump of 6.88m took place on her home turf at the Long Jump pit.

Like her compatriot, Carey McLeod, who won the men’s title, Smith displayed incredible determination and clinched the victory on her sixth and final attempt.

Initially, Smith faced challenges as she fouled in her first few tries. However, she quickly regained composure and showcased her resilience by improving to a 6.35m leap in the third round. With each subsequent attempt, Smith continued to make progress, achieving a 6.68m jump followed by a 6.81m jump in her penultimate try.

Smith’s final performance propelled her to a distance of 6.88m, surpassing the USA’s U20 National Record of 6.86m set by Alyssa Johnson from Stanford. This jump also exceeded Jasmine Moore’s 21-foot mark.

“I’ve trained here, pouring blood and sweat into this track, and it’s truly an honor to be here,” said Smith to reporters. “Being able to compete on my home turf and share this victory with the home fans is an incredible feeling. It’s about instilling belief in our ability to win championships on our own soil.”

Smith’s exceptional performance not only secured her the NCAA Long Jump title but also left an indelible mark on the competition, setting a new record and captivating spectators with her remarkable display of talent.

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Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.