June 14, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In her final meet as a member of the University of Notre Dame women’s track & field team, senior Tameisha King went out with a bang. Late Friday night, the Mableton, Ga., native tied for third in the long jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a leap of 6.48 meters (21-3.25), the second-best mark in school history. It also resulted in a third All-America citation for King, making her just the second Notre Dame female track athlete ever to win All-America honors three times (Jennifer Engelhardt did the same in the high jump in 1997, 1999 and 2000). In addition, King’s third-place finish equalled the best by any Irish female track athlete in any event at the NCAA outdoor meet (JoAnna Deeter was third in the 10,000-meter run at the 1999 championships).
King wasted little time in setting the bar high, posting her best mark of the competition on her opening attempt. Her distance was matched later in the round by Nebraska’s Ineta Radevica, but the pair stayed in first place through the first two rounds of the six-round competition. Then, in round three, Auburn’s Elva Goubourne, the national leader in the event, jumped 6.76m (22-2.25), and Maine’s Viktoriya Rybalko followed with a career-best leap of 6.53m (21-5.25), dropping King and Radevica to third place.
With four attempts remaining, King tried to keep the pressure on the leaders. She tied her best mark on her fifth attempt, but going into a slight headwind on her final jump, she went just 6.44m and wound up tied with Radevica for third in the final standings. Still, it was the third time in four years King had garnered All-America laurels at the NCAA outdoor meet, following on the heels of her successes in 2000 and 2002. King also now holds the top 10 long jump marks in school history, including a school-record leap of 21-4 at the 2002 Georgia Tech Invitational.
Notre Dame will look for additional high honors Saturday night, as two more athletes have qualified for the finals in their respective events. Senior Luke Watson (Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater H.S.) and freshman Molly Huddle (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame H.S.) both will race in the finals of the 5,000-meter run, with the women going at 8:40 p.m. (PDT) and the men at 9 p.m. (PDT). Watson, who is going after his eighth All-America honor, is the only male Irish athlete competing at this year’s NCAA meet and he advanced to the finals after winning his preliminary heat and placing fourth in the field with a time of 14:00.85 on Wednesday night. At the same time, Huddle wound up second in her heat and third overall with a time of 16:18.21, less than a second out of the top spot.
— ND —
2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships — Day 3
Women’s Long Jump – Final
3rd (tie) – Tameisha King (ND), 6.48m (21-3.25)