Wendy Brown, a 19-year-old freshman at the USC, broke the world best in the women’s triple jump Thursday, going 44 feet 6 3/4 inches on her first qualifying attempt in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Brown, a high jumper, high hurdler and long jumper who also played basketball for USC last season, shattered the world outdoor best of 43-4 set last year by Terri Turner of the University of Texas.
The previous best ever was 44-4 by Brazil’s Esmeralda Garcia of Florida State during the 1985 NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
The triple jump, a relatively new event for women, is held only in the United States, and is not recognized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the world governing body of track and field. Therefore, there are no world records in the event.
“I knew I’d do well, but nothing like this,” Brown said. “I expected 43 (feet), not 44.”
Brown, however, did not qualify for the final in the high jump.
Earlier, Arkansas’ Michael Conley took another big step toward an unprecedented second consecutive double in the horizontal jumps in the NCAA Championships by qualifying for the triple jump final.
Conley, winner of the long jump and the triple jump titles last year--and the winner of five NCAA indoor jump titles--leaped a conservative, wind-aided 52-10 3/4 in his only attempt in the triple jump qualifying toward Saturday’s final. His jump was third best in a field of 21.
The best jump was 53-0 3/4 by John Williams of Southern Methodist. Second was Byron Criddle of Houston at 52-11 3/4.
The qualifying jumps do not carry over into the final.
Thursday’s program consisted of qualifying in 20 events. There will be 17 finals today and 20 Saturday.
UCLA’s Jackie Joyner, who was entered in six events, was the second-leading qualifier in the women’s triple jump at 43-4. She also won a 110 hurdles heat in 13.06.
Olympian Sherri Howard of Cal State LA had the fastest time (51.95) in the women’s 400-meter qualifying.
In the men’s 400-meters, Olympic silver medalist Gabriel Tiacoh of Washington State and the Ivory Coast won his heat in 44.87, second fastest time in the world this year.