There was a time in the League — back when today’s athletes were pre-schoolers — when a 19-foot long jump and a 40-foot triple jump could make someone a Heps champion. Today’s jumpers — in large numbers — are well past those past barriers.
Let’s start with Columbia freshman Nadia Eke, for example. She leapt 42-4 1/4 to win at Indoor Heps and has soared 42-0 1/2 so far outside. But she has four other 40-footers in the conference already this spring. Princeton’s Imani Oliver is a school record breaker at 41-0 1/4 while Eke’s Columbia teammate Queen Okeke, Cornell’s Kristin Brandt and Harvard’s Olivia Weeks will be pushing for points in the three step.
Weeks and Eke are also 19-foot long jumpers along with four others (not including the thus-far-idle Melissa Hewitt of Cornell). Hewitt has jumped 20 feet before while her teammate Anjelique Parnell went over the 20-foot barrier this spring (although wind-aided). Last year’s outdoor champ Uju Ofoche of Columbia is ranked second this season and is always a 20-foot threat. Yale sprinter and jumper Adele Jackson-Gibson is also looking to score some big points for the Elis after a fine season in New Haven. — Patricia Melton