On the very first jump of his very first collegiate meet, Highland graduate shattered his lifetime best in the triple jump at a meet in Minneapolis.

Whittaker, a freshman at the University of Minnesota, jumped 51-5 1/2 at the Jack Johnson Classic on the University in Minnesota’s campus in Minneapolis Sunday. He won the event by more than four feet over Isaiah Hopf of St. Thomas.

Whittaker was competing unattached because Minnesota doesn’t have an official indoor track program, but he shattered his personal best of 49-11 1/2 from when he won Outdoor Nationals this past spring at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

His indoor PR was 46-10 3/4 from his win at Eastern’s at the Armory in February of 2020.

It appears that Whittaker’s mark is the best ever by a South Jersey high school alum indoors.

Greg Foster, a Shawnee graduate, jumped 51-3 3/4 in a meet in Flagstaff in 1986 while competing for Northern Arizona, and that was the top known indoor triple jump mark by a South Jersey native.

Whittaker broke the meet record of 51-1 3/4 set in 2008 by Carl White, who was competing unattached. His jump would be No. 6 among NCAA Division 1 freshmen if he were competing officially for the Gophers.

It does make him No. 19 among U.S. men so far this indoor season.

Incredibly, Whittaker’s 51-5 1/2 came on the first jump of his college career He followed it with a 49-1 3/4, then two fouls, then a 51-3 and a 48-10 3/4.

Whittaker’s mark makes him No. 4 in Minnesota indoor history and the top performer in the last 20 years, since Chris Dixon jumped 51-6 1/4 in 2002. It’s also the No. 10 all-time performance in Gophers indoor history.



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