Advertisement

Archive for Friday, April 19, 2013

Breaking new ‘ground: Olympian wins in unusual venue

Janay DeLoach-Soukup soars through the air as the crowd watches during the Kansas Relays Women's Elite Pro long jump event, held Thursday evening at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

Janay DeLoach-Soukup soars through the air as the crowd watches during the Kansas Relays Women's Elite Pro long jump event, held Thursday evening at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

April 19, 2013

Advertisement

Olympic bronze medalist Janay DeLoach-Soukup, who has long-jumped in stadiums big and small all over the world, now can say she’s competed — and won — in a livestock arena.

“It’s different ... different, to say the least,” DeLoach-Soukup said with a smile after skying 22 feet, 41⁄2 inches to win the Kansas Relays long-jump competition contested in front of about 500 fans Thursday night at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

A year ago, the 5-foot-5 former Colorado State standout won the Relays in downtown Lawrence with a leap of 21-81⁄4. The event was moved indoors this year because of cold weather.

“The crowd is here. That’s all that matters,” DeLoach-Soukup added. “I love this atmosphere. When the crowd is here, so close to you, they can give you high-fives. I’ll definitely be coming back next year.”

DeLoach-Soukup outdistanced Tori Bowie and Funmi Jimoh, who were second and third at 21-9 and 21-21⁄2 respectively.

“The fans here are great,” DeLoach-Soukup said. “How often can you get this close to long jumpers and get sprayed in the face with sand? Who wouldn’t want that?”

The 27-year-old DeLoach-Soukup is a two-time USA Indoor champion and 2012 World Indoor runner-up. She leaped 22-7 1-4 to place third at the 2012 London Olympics.

“In all honesty, what kind of athlete would I be if I didn’t say I wanted to win? I wanted to win, (but) I was very content with having a bronze medal,” she said. “I’m still going to go for a gold. Long jump, field events, running ... it’s anybody’s game. I’m going to keep pushing. One day maybe it’s mine.”

KU senior long jump/triple jump standout Andrea Geubelle, who is gearing for the Big 12 Outdoor and recovering from a heel bruise, didn’t compete but watched Thursday’s event.

“She’s very good, one of the best jumpers in the world,” Geubelle said of DeLoach-Soukup.

Rachael Klinger, who competed unattached, won the heptathlon with 4,699 points. Jourdan Doffeny of Nebraska was second at 4,629. Dan Simon of Wisconsin-Milwaukee won the decathlon with 6,429 points.

Former Baldwin High standout Isaac Twombly of Drake won the hammer throw in 194-6.

Nike’s Amber Campbell won the women’s hammer in a meet record 228-6. KU sophomore Evan Landes won the 5,000 meters in 14:27.42.

The Relays will continue all day today at Memorial Stadium.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.