Georgia sophomore Keturah Orji has been named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Women’s Athlete of the Week following her dominating performance at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Orji, a native of Mount Olive, N.J., traveled a wind-aided 47 feet, 10 3Ž4 inches (2.0 meters/second or lower is legal and her top mark was 2.9) on her fifth jump to win her second consecutive SEC outdoor title by two feet and 10.5 inches. This gap is also the distance between her and the nation’s second-ranked jumper. Orji’s top effort matched the collegiate all-time, all-conditions record set in 2008 and is No. 5 on the current world all-conditions list. The current wind-legal collegiate record is 46-9 (Florida State’s Kim Williams, 2011).
Posting a cumulative GPA of 3.95 to boot, Orji started her series with a mark of 46 feet that also would have won by nearly a foot. Her third attempt measured 46-6.75, which topped her own school, meet and facility records. Her performance at SECs solidified her spot as the No. 4 all-time collegiate performer with the fifth-, sixth-, 10th– and 11th-best marks in history. Orji finished as the SEC meet’s ninth-leading scorer with 15 points thanks also to her fourth-place finish in the long jump (21-3.25).
Orji has now won four straight SEC triple jump titles, counting her four combined indoor and outdoor meets. She won the 2015 NCAA outdoor title as well as the 2016 NCAA indoor crown and was second at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition, Orji has earned a pair of First Team All-America certificates in the long jump during her first two years.