Bria Matthews continued a most impressive freshman season, winning the long jump and triple jump at the U.S. junior national track and field championships this weekend in Clovis, Calif. The victories earned her a spot on the U.S. junior national team, which will compete at the world juniors in Poland in July.
Matthews was the only athlete at the meet to win two events. Matthews won the long jump with a best jump of 21 feet, 3.5 inches (setting a personal best and school record) and the triple jump at 43’ 5 ½”. During the school year, Matthews won ACC indoor titles in both events and won the ACC outdoor triple jump. An ankle injury limited her at the NCAA East regional meet. She broke school records in both events.
Matthews won the long jump on her final jump of the competition, breaking her own school record. She was, alas, one centimeter short of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Over the course of the season, though, she improved on her high-school best by more than two feet.
Matthews will compete at the trials in the triple jump, where her best is 45’ ½”. The triple jump preliminaries are July 4 and the finals are July 7. The meet will be held in Eugene, Ore.
Her triple jump PR is the eighth best performance by an American this season. (Georgia’s Keturah Orji is first at 47’8”) She would need to finish in the top three to make the Olympic team. The third-best jump in 2016 is 46’ 1 ¼”.