Ackelia Smith defends NCAA long jump title with 6.79m leap Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Ackelia Smith of the University of Texas at Austin defended her 2023 long jump outdoor title, becoming a two-time champion at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday night.

The 22-year-old Jamaican secured the victory with a third-attempt effort of 6.79 metres making her the first Longhorn woman in 18 years to win back-to-back titles at the NCAA Outdoor meet. She follows in the footsteps of Destinee Hooker, who won the high jump in 2006-07. Smith is also the first woman nationally to win consecutive NCAA Outdoor long jump titles since Auburn’s Elva Goulbourne achieved the feat in 2002-03.

Smith will compete in the triple jump on Saturday, aiming to improve on her runner-up finish from last season.

On Wednesday’s first day of action, University of Arkansas junior Wayne Pinnock of Jamaica earned his seventh All-America honour but finished fifth in the long jump. Pinnock, who had been favoured to win, recorded a best leap of 7.98 metres on his third attempt.

It was the first time Pinnock, who wore tape on his leg hamstring, finished lower than fourth at an NCAA meet.

Southern California sophomore Chrstyn John Stevenson took the victory with a personal-best 8.22 metres, the leading collegiate non-wind-aided mark this season.