@LATechTandF's Jarrett Samuels Advances to NCAA Championships
May 28, 2015
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - All you need is one good jump. For Louisiana Tech redshirt junior Jarrett Samuels it came in dramatic fashion on his final attempt Thursday at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships as he jumped from the end of his season to a spot at the NCAA Championships in June.
Samuels was sitting in 13th place in a competition where the top 12 advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon on June 10-13 entering his last of three attempts with his mark over an inch shy of that 12th and final spot. But in his last attempt he leapfrogged three competitors with a jump of 24-10 (7.57m) for a ninth-place finish and a trip to Eugene.
"I wouldn't say I was nervous but my heart was beating a little rapidly before my final jump," Samuels said, knowing he was on the outside looking in at that point. "I just tried to focus on my first couple of steps so I could get on the board. Focusing on that helped me try to remain calm."
But for Samuels, it was after the measurement and verification from jumps coach Jake Cohen before he knew he would be advancing.
"I didn't know I made it when I landed in the pit," recalled Samuels. "I was surprised. I didn't really hear the mark get announced, it wasn't until after Coach Cohen told me that I was ninth that I knew I had made it."
The performance marks the first appearance at the NCAA Championships in the long jump for Samuels, who joined the Louisiana Tech program this season after transferring from Louisiana Tech.
"I can't tell you how excited I am right now because I am still in a bit of shock," explained Samuels immediately after the competition ended. "I am just really happy and excited to get the opportunity."
For the Charlotte, North Carolina native, it was the move to Ruston that continues to pay dividends. The Bronze medalist in the long jump at the 2015 Conference USA Outdoor Championships entered the week ranked 10th in the East Prelims and 27th in the nation in the event. Now he is one of 24 heading to Eugene.
"My coaches at Louisiana Tech have been incredibly helpful and patient and didn't force anything. That has made the biggest difference and I really appreciate it. They have also taught me how to run correctly down the runway, which is important in the long jump. Their coaching has definitely made a big difference."
Samuels' performance concluded the first day of action for Louisiana Tech at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships in Jacksonville.
LA Tech's action Thursday opened with the women's 100m dash with three Lady Techsters running. Victoria Wade led the trio with a time of 11.80 as she finished in 33rd while Mia Adams, competing in the first of four events at the East Prelims, ran 11.95 to finish 42nd. Brittany Walker finished 43rd to round out the trio, running 43rd.
Friday's action in Jacksonville starts at Noon ET/11 a.m. CT as Joshua Cox competes in the javelin.
Live results for the East Prelims are available throughout the competition and linked from LATechSports.com.
For complete coverage of Tech Track and Field and Cross Country, please follow @LATechTandF on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.
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