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.
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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.