In a big day for Team USA, former Ole Miss star Brittney Reese stamped her place in track & field history by winning Olympic gold in the women’s long jump on Wednesday.
Reese added an Olympic gold medal to her accomplishments that already included the previous two world outdoor championships and the last two world indoor titles in the long jump.
The Gulfport native produced only two legal jumps out of six attempts, but her second attempt of 7.12 meters (23 feet-4.5 inches) was enough to last through the rest of the competition ahead of silver medalist Elena Sokolova (Russia) and bronze medalist Janay Deloach (USA).
Reese’s winning mark was the best jump at any Olympic Games since 1996.
She’s the first American to win gold in the event since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988.
Reese becomes the first member of the Ole Miss track & field family to win an Olympic gold medal and the second to win an Olympic medal of any color (Tony Dees — silver, 1992). She is the fourth person in Ole Miss Athletics history to earn a gold medal (Jennifer Gillom, Peggie Gillom, Van Chancellor in women’s basketball).
Her Ole Miss career, which ended in 2008, included her being the National Field Athlete of the Year that season and SEC Field Athlete of the Year three times.
She was a two-time NCAA champion, five-time All-American and five-time SEC champion in two seasons as a Rebel.
Young misses cut
Ole Miss rising Isiah Young also competed at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday, taking part in the men’s 200 meter semifinals.
Running in the same heat as Usain Bolt, Young placed eighth (20.89) to conclude his first Olympic competition.
The Junction City, Kan., native had a phenomenal 2012 season that he capped by becoming the first athlete in Ole Miss history to compete in a non-hurdle sprinting event at the Olympics.
Young was the 2012 Southeastern Conference champion in the 200 and placed fourth in the event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
He set the school record in both the 100 and 200 and was named a USTFCCCA All-American in the outdoor 100, outdoor 200 and indoor 60 meters. (August 9, 2012, Page 1B)