Highland grad Floyd Whitaker popped two more 50-foot jumps and earned a berth at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships with a 2nd-place finish at the USATF National U20 Championships in Eugene.
Whitaker, who just finished his freshman year at Minnesota, jumped 50-4 ½ and 50-3 ½ on his first two jumps and led through four rounds before placing 2nd to Texas freshman Solomon Washington, who went 50-9 ½ on his 5th jump. All three 50-foot jumps were wind-aided.
Whitaker had a 49-10 with a 1.9 meters-per-second tailwind on his 4th jump that was the bet wind-legal jump of the competition.
Washington and Whitaker will represent the U.S. at the World Under-20 Championships next month in Cali, Columbia.
Whitaker set his PR indoors in Minneapolis in January, when he jumped 51-5 ¼. He hit his legal outdoor best of 50-2 ¼ at the NCAA West Preliminary Round last month in Fayetteville, Ark.
At Highland, Whitaker won numerous state and Meet of Champions titles, won Outdoor Nationals last May – also at Hayward Field – and jumped 50-2 ½ when he won his first M-of-C title. That’s No. 3 in South Jersey history.
In Eugene, Whitaker reached 49-5 ½ or better on all four of his legal jumps. He actually had four of the six-best jumps of the competition.
The World Athletics Under-20 Championships are scheduled for July 15-24 back at Hayward Field. The triple jump begins at 9:20 p.m. Thursday, July 21, with qualifying rounds followed by the final at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 23.