Junior Keturah Orji has been honored as a CoSIDA Academic First Team All-American for the second time in her career, giving the Georgia track and field program its eighth honor of this kind.
This marks the third consecutive year that the Bulldogs have had an Academic First Team All-American in the sport. Georgia has now had at least one Academic All-American in one of its sports in every year since 1980.
Orji, a native of Mount Olive, N.J., had an exceptional junior year, including being named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and being one of three finalists for The Bowerman Award, which is track and field’s version of football’s Heisman Trophy, for the second year in a row. She finished her third year with a 3.96 GPA in Financial Planning and was named the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Women’s Field Athlete of the Year.
A finalist for the Honda Award for track, Orji has become one of the most decorated jumpers in NCAA history. This year, she propelled the Lady Bulldogs to record-breaking second-place finishes at the NCAA indoor and outdoor meets. The six-time SEC champion and 11-time First Team All-American has won five out of the six triple jump national titles she has contended for (finished second at the 2015 NCAA indoor meet).
Orji is 12-0 in outdoor collegiate meets in the triple in her career and 24-for-25 overall over her UGA career. Internationally, Orji won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials and finished fourth in Rio (top American finish in the triple jump in history) after also taking fourth at the 2016 World Indoor Championships.
On Thursday of this week, Orji captured the 2017 USATF outdoor title with a second jump of 46 feet, 9 1Ž2 inches, besting the competition by at least a foot and a half.
The 2016 USTFCCCA National Outdoor Women’s Field Athlete of the Year owns the top, second, third, sixth and 10th-best indoor collegiate jumps in history while outdoors, she owns the top, second, third, eighth and ninth-best collegiate jumps ever.
In 2017, Orji won the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles in the triple jump yet again. She posted two other top-three national finishes in the long jump for another pair of First Team All-America honors, including a personal best mark for runner-up honors at outdoor Nationals. Orji scored a combined 34 points at the NCAA Indoor & Outdoor Championships of the team’s 113.2 points, which is more than 30 percent of the team’s output.
Orji broke the collegiate and American records in the triple jump at this year’s SEC Indoor Championships with a mark of 46-11.75. She continued her dominance outdoors with her third career outdoor national triple jump crown. She notched both the second-best wind-legal triple jump mark (46-11.50) in collegiate history and the fourth-best all-conditions triple jump mark (46-10.75) outdoors.
Adding to her ever-growing trophy case, Orji was the 2017 SEC indoor and outdoor triple jump champion. Orji was also the USTFCCCA South Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year indoors and outdoors.