|FVSU’s Oglesby Triples as NCAA Triple Jump Champion|
In last night’s NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships held at the Al Brenda Track on the campus of the University of California Stanislaus, Fort Valley State University’s Antoinette Oglesby pushed back a challenge from Amanda Ouedraogo of Abilene Christian University to claim her third consecutive championship in the triple jump. The senior from Athens, Georgia capped her collegiate career in dramatic fashion as the title chase became a two-way battle between her and Ouedraogo.
In the preliminary round, Oglesby set the tone for night. Jumping fifth in the first heat, Oglesby’s first of three jumps covered 12.33 meters and put her in first place. On her second attempt she pushed her leading distance even farther with a leap of 12.72 meters. The closest challenger in Oglesby’s heat was not able to match her initial jump of 12.33 meters. And while Oglesby fouled on her third attempt, the message had been sent to the entire field that she intended to vigorously defend her title.
It was a message that Ouedraogo heard loud and clear. Jumping sixth in the second heat, Ouedraogo provided identical matches to Oglesby’s first two jumps (12.33 meters and 12.72 meters). Now tied after two jumps, with the foul by Oglesby on her third jump, Ouedraogo took control of first place after the preliminary round on her third jump of 12.41 meters.
As the championship round began, it was patently clear that the title would either stay with the back-to-back champion or be wrestled away by Ouedraogo.
Oglesby provided the answer to that question on her first jump in the championship round. Her jump of 12.70 meters put her back into first place because it temporarily became the second best of the event. Now trailing, Ouedraogo fouled on her first jump in the championship round.
As the field of nine competitors in the championship round registered their second of three jumps, Oglesby hit a mark of 12.68 meters on her second attempt. Ouedraogo could only manage a distance of 12.06 meters on her second attempt as Oglesby retained the lead.
On her third and final jump, Oglesby hit a mark of 12.15 meters. So, in order for Ouedraogo to take the title she would need to beat Oglesby’s second best jump of 12.70 meters. On her final jump Ouedraogo’s 12.19 meters leap was not enough as Oglesby claimed the title for the third consecutive time.
“After the preliminary round, I knew I had to put early pressure on her and not jump from behind in the championship, said Oglesby. I felt pretty good after taking the lead on my first jump. As Amanda prepared for her final jump, I could barely watch and just kept hoping that I had done enough to win. Fortunately, I had.”