Ja’la Henderson used her best jump of the season to easily keep it going.
Wyoming’s All-American triple jumper qualified for her second straight appearance at the NCAA Division I track and field championships by finishing third in the event at the West preliminary Saturday in Sacramento, California. Henderson clinched the top-3 finish with a season-best jump of 43 feet, 6 inches.
The women’s triple jump finals will be held June 8 in Austin, Texas. Henderson will be trying to improve on her 17th-place finish at last year’s national championships.
Henderson, who never fell out of the top 12 at the prelims, enters the national championships with plenty of momentum. The senior won her second straight triple jump title at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships earlier this month, becoming the first Cowgirl since the 2004-05 seasons to pull off back-to-back conference crowns in the same event.
Her jump Saturday was nearly a foot farther than the distance of 42-7.5 she used to win the league title.
"Ja’la has come into form at absolutely the right time of year," UW relays and jumps coach Quincy Howe said in a statement. "She has always competed at her best when she competes against the best, and today was no different."
Henderson is the second Wyoming athlete to qualify for the national championships. Casper native Jerayah Davis will compete in the women’s long jump and 100 meters in her first-ever national championship appearance.