Competing on one of the biggest stages of her career, Tennessee State women’s track and field rising senior Amber Hughes (Atlanta, Ga.) placed 18th in the triple jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Monday at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. The top 12 on the day advance to the finals on July 7.
“It was such a humbling experience. I’m so grateful to have made it this far,” Hughes said. “My coaches, family, friends and supporters all made it worthwhile. I know this is only the beginning, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. I’m excited and ready.”
Hughes, who is the first Tigerbelle to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials since Dominique Ward-Holmes in the 400m in 2008, had her best triple jump distance of the day of 13.23m (43’5”) on her first jump. The distance was good enough for 11th place out of the 24 competitors after the opening jumps.
She fouled on her second attempt and was in 15th place after the second round of jumps. On her third and final attempt of the day, Hughes reached 13.16m (43’2.25”), finishing 18th overall.
Hughes had qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with a triple jump distance of 13.46m (44’2”) from the Memphis Tiger Invitational in April.
The action concludes Hughes’ standout junior season, which included USTFCCCA First Team All-America honors for the triple jump during the indoor season. Her fourth place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships was the best by a Tigerbelle at the Division I level. She went on to earn USTFCCCA Honorable Mention All-America for the triple jump for the outdoor season.