Former Ole Miss All-American Brittney Reese cranked out the best outdoor jump of the year – and won a protest of a foul call – to win the women’s long jump on Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
She’ll be joined in London by Rebels junior Isiah Young, who finished a surprising third in the men’s 200 meters.
Reese, a 2008 Olympian from Gulfport, was already assured of a trip to the London Olympics, but would have done so with the third-best jump in Sunday’s finals if her spirited protest of a foul call had not been upheld.
“I never want to lose a meet,” she told reporters. “I looked down at the mark and didn’t see anything so I am happy that I won the protest. But it is not about winning here, it is about going to London – and that is where I’m going.”
Sunday’s win serves as her fifth consecutive U.S. title. She’s looking to improve on a fifth-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Reese had a phenomenal day,” said outgoing Ole Miss head coach Joe Walker, who is also Reese’s personal coach. “It was awesome.”
She has continued her training in Oxford while preparing for London.
Reese’s winning jump was 7.15 meters (23-51⁄2 feet). Louisiana Tech senior Chelsea Hayes (7.10, 23-31⁄2) finished second and Janay DeLoach (7.06, 23-23⁄4) was third.
It will be the first Olympic appearance for Hayes and DeLoach, who was second to Reese at the 2012 World Indoors.
“I think we have the jumps on our side right now,” Reese said. “I think if we can all produce seven-meter jumps, like we have been, that we will sweep.”
No other jumper on Sunday was able to surpass 23 feet.
Young’s third-place finish in the men’s 200 capped a strong week for the Ole Miss junior. He ran a 20.16 on Sunday – smashing his personal best of 20.32 set when he won the SEC Championship earlier this year.
Wallace Spearmon won the 200 in 19.82, with Maurice Mitchell second in 20.14.
“Coming down the home straightaway, I tried to keep up with (Spearmon) and finish strong,” Young said in a TV interview after the race. “Now I’m going to London.”
Young is the seventh Ole Miss track athlete to qualify for the Olympics. Reese is the first two-time qualifier.