Freshman grabs honor after posting nation's longest triple jump.
April 21, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. — University of Oklahoma freshman Will Claye has been named the Big 12 Athlete of the Week the conference announced Tuesday afternoon. Claye’s honor comes following a weekend that saw the freshman post the nation’s longest distance in the triple jump, 54 feet and 9.50 inches (16.70 meters) at Saturday’s John McDonnell Invitational.
An early enrollee in January, Claye continues to impress in what should be his senior year of high school. After claiming indoor All-American honors in both the triple and long jump, Claye took over the national lead in the outdoor triple jump by close to a full foot with his performance Saturday despite rainy and cold conditions in Fayetteville, Ark. Texas A&M’s Julian Reid entered the weekend with nation’s top mark of 53-11.75 (16.45) before Claye’s performance in Fayetteville.
Claye’s outdoor personal best of 54-9.50 (16.70) is the second best jump in school history behind Shardae Boutte’s 55-0.00 (16.76) in 2008. Claye already holds the Oklahoma program record in the indoor triple jump with a distance of 55-1.50 (16.80).
Saturday’s jump by Claye is close to five inches longer than last year’s Big 12 Championships winning mark and 1.5 inches further than the winning jump at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Expectations will be high this weekend as Claye jumps on his home turf Saturday in the 2009 Sooner Invitational with warm weather expected.