Highland graduate Floyd Whitaker turned in a monster performance in the triple jump final at the World Under-20 Championships in South America, with his first four lifetime jumps over 51 feet, his first-ever 52-foot jump and a 5th-place finish against the best young triple jumpers in the world.
What an incredible performance for the Clemonton native!!!!!
Whitaker, who entered the meet seeded 14th, moved up from 7th to 5th on his final jump with a massive lifetime-best 52-6 ¼ with a legal 0.1 meters-per-second tailwind.
He was the top American at World U20s and his 52-6 1/4 is the best jump this year by an American who doesn’t turn 20 this year.
He moved up to No. 25 on the overall U.S. 2022 performance list!
Whitaker, who recently finished his freshman year at the University of Minnesota, had set an outdoor PR of 50-11 ¾ in Thursday’s trials. That means he recorded the five-best legal outdoor jumps of his life in a 30-hour span in Colombia.
Whitaker’s overall PR coming into the meet was a 51-5 ¼ from a meet in January in Minneapolis.
He shattered that by more than a foot Friday evening at Pascual Guerrero Olympic Stadium in Santiago de Cali, Colombia.
Whitaker fouled on his first jump but went 51-2 on his next attempt for his first PR of the day and second of the competition. He followed that with a 51-2 ¾ and, after a subpar jump on his 4th attempt, hit 51-0 ½ on his 5th before popping the 52-6 ¼.
His wind-legal outdoor PR before Thursday was 50-2 ¼ from the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Meet in Fayetteville in May. He surpassed that once Thursday and four times Friday.
Whitaker qualified for Worlds with a 2nd-place finish at the USATF Under-20 Championships in June in Eugene, Ore., where he jumped a wind-aided 50-4 ¼.
Whitaker’s jump makes him No. 2 in Minnesota history, behind the 30-year-old school record of 53-1 set by two-time British Virgin Islands Olympian Keita Cline at the 1992 Caribbean National Junior Track and Field Championships at Nassau, Bahamas.