Following 1.90m PB at NCAA championships, Lamara Distin targets Olympic standard 1.96m at Jamaican trials

By June 16, 2021

Texas A&M’s Lamara Distin, fresh from her silver medal performance in the high jump at last weekend’s NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, is targeting the Olympic standard of 1.96m when she competes at the Jamaica National Championships beginning June 26.

After overcoming injury early in the season, Distin rebounded to clear a personal best height and end her sophomore season on a high. Now, she is looking for more.

“Well, I’m definitely trying to get the Olympic standard of 1.96m,” she said responding to whether she will be competing at the national championships.

“I’m continuing to be patient with myself and hoping for the best. I am young and still have a bright future ahead of me.”

Distin cleared a personal best of 1.90m to finish second to South Carolina freshman Rachel Glenn, who needed a personal best of 1.93m to take the gold medal and head of teammate Tyra Gittens, who cleared 1.87m for third.

Distin said she was grateful she was able to achieve one of her main goals for the season.

“All I can say God is good. Before the start of the season my main goal was to jump 1.90 or higher so finally being able to jump it and also at the biggest meet of my collegiate career is one I’ll never forget,” she said.

“I always try to stay patient even after a rocky start to my season. I have my coaches and teammates to motivate me, which helps me a lot. It was a very great experience competing at the biggest collegiate meet and jumping with some great athletes.”

In the heat of battle and as the bar was raised higher and higher, Distin and Glenn maintained clean records. As the contest neared its climax, the former Hydel and Vere Technical jumper, revealed that she harboured the belief that she could pull off the win but knew she had to do something special to achieve it.

“Actually, I did at some point, but I knew it would take over 6ft 2inches to win. We are both great jumpers and at a point, I thought count-back would determine who wins the competition. If I had cleared 6ft 4in on my first attempt, then I would have definitely thought I had it in the bag,” she said.

“I honestly did not want to put any pressure on myself thinking about high bars because doing that can hinder me from doing what’s important such as my run-up and my technique.

“However, I took it one step at a time. Each time the bar got higher, it’s just to always make it on my first attempt. My focus was to just go out there and get a personal best and I know for sure if I did it would take a big jump to do that. Although my target was to get the Olympic qualifying standard of 1.96m, I am still pleased with my performance.”

Having Gittens, the NCAA’s leading high jumper also in the competition was also a boost. Each offering the other words of advice and reassurance.

“Yes, we always do because we know what we are capable of doing. If it comes to the point where we miss an attempt, we just forget about it and talk about how to correct the mistake. We’re also very supportive of each other regardless of the outcome,” she said.

  Overall, it was a good end to a season that came with significant challenges, Distin said, happy that she was able to close on a high note.

“The start of the indoor season, I had a minor injury which kind of slowed down the process of performance. I was putting pressure on myself because I know what I am capable of doing and it just wasn’t happening but I stayed true to myself and stayed patient,” she said.

“I qualified for the indoor championship at the very last meet before indoor SEC because of not competing and trying to get back healthy. Overall, I definitely met my expectations for the outdoor season but I am eager for more as I am starting to surpass my goals.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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