The Olympic trials are coming up in June, and Brittney Reese is a favorite to not only make the team but to win women's long jump gold in London later this summer.
In March, Reese set the American record with a jump of 23 feet, 8.75 inches, surpassing the mark Jackie Joyner-Kersee set 18 years earlier.
Reese and her coach, Joe Walker, say they're pleased with her conditioning and performance level heading into the trials in Eugene, Ore.
They're not out to mess with success, but they're constantly looking for improvement as well.
“My main thing is my landing,” Reese said. “Everything is not in perfect form, but I want to focus on the good things that I do and work on the landing later.”
Reese said track and field observers have expressed opinions that she could add distance to her jumps by improving her landing.
“It's always been a discussion that if I was to do this or that, I could go further. Coach Walker tells me if I'm beating everybody with my landing, they just need to hush. It's a true statement, but it's not like we're not working on it. We are working on it, and it's getting a whole lot better.”
Walker is not concerned with Reese's landing.
“Right now, it's a matter of doing everything a fraction better. That's how you improve. This is not a machine where you dial something up. These are human beings. You try to strengthen some things and improve a weakness a little bit at a time. It's a process.”
The process has helped Reese become the nation's recognized leader in her event.
Since leaving Ole Miss, Reese has continued to live and train in Oxford to be near Walker. She's undecided on whether she'll remain in town after he begins work at Louisville on July 1.
Walker wasn't the only reason Reese made Oxford her home.
“Everything I need is right here in Oxford. I still can see the trainers, weight coaches, all the necessities are right here in Oxford. That's another reason I decided to stay here.”