UGA’s Keturah Orji has been named the USTFCCCA 2017 Women’s Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year, sharing the honor with Ole Miss junior thrower Raven Saunders.
This marks the second consecutive season that Orji garnered the National Field Athlete of the Year award after receiving the accolade following the 2016 outdoor season as well. Following the 2016 indoor season, senior Kendell Williams won the indoor version of the award for the third straight year.
Orji was named the USTFCCCA South Region Field Athlete of the Year and the Southeastern Conference Field Athlete of the Year following her third SEC indoor meet. While in Nashville, Tenn., Orji scored a team-high 16 points at the SEC Championships after winning her third consecutive conference indoor triple jump title (fifth SEC triple jump title overall) in record-breaking fashion. She also finished third in a long jump competition that finished with three 22-foot performers for the first time in collegiate track and field history.
Fourth-place at the 2016 Olympics, Orji posted matching American, collegiate, meet, school and facility record marks (46 feet, 11 3/4 inches) at SECs to cruise to a victory in the triple with a series that featured five jumps of 46-3.50 or more. She now owns five of the top 10 collegiate marks in history, including the top three all set at this year’s SEC meet. Orji also set a school record of 21-11.75 on her third long jump before traveling 22-0.75 on her fifth try to lock down third in the long jump.
Two weeks later, Orji traveled with her teammates to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Indoor Championships. She captured her fourth career NCAA triple jump title (second indoors) and was Georgia’s top scorer after also taking third in the long jump. Orji is now 20-1 in collegiate triple jump competitions after winning her second straight indoor championship. She opened with a mark of 46-3.50, followed with a 46-2.50 and then passed on her final four attempts.
Orji started the NCAA meet by taking third place in the long jump to earn her second First Team All-America certificate in the event indoors in as many years.
The Bulldogs start their outdoor season in Atlanta at the Yellow Jacket Invitational on Friday. Action is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. with the men’s hammer and women’s hammer following. The first event on the track is the steeplechase at 2 p.m.