Damarcus Simpson places third at U.S. Outdoor Championships
Former LaFayette High School state long jump champion Damarcus Simpson jumped 8.36 meters (27-feet, 5¼-inches) on his sixth and final attempt to make the medal stand at the 2017 U.S. Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California on Sunday.
Simpson, who finished eighth in last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials with a then-career-best of 8.12 meters (26-7¾), won the PAC-12 championship for the University of Oregon back in May with a mark of 7.95 meters (26-1).
He hit the 7.95-meter mark again on his first jump in the finals, but fouled on his next four attempts before soaring to a new personal-best on his final jump of the day to earn third place and the bronze medal. His third-place finish was two spots higher than 2016 Olympic gold medalist Jeff Henderson’s fifth-place distance of 8.28 meters (27-2),
The top two spots both went to professional long jumpers Jarrion Lawson (ASICS) and Marquis Dendy (Nike). Lawson won with a mark of 8.49 meters (27-10¼), reached on his fifth jump, while Dendy hit 8.39 meters (27-6½) on his sixth and final attempt in the finals.
Simpson was a two-time NCAA Division II outdoor national champion and a two-time indoor runner-up while competing for Chadron State (Neb.) before transferring to Oregon this past season.
He also competed in the 100 meters, running a 10.24 in his preliminary heat. However, that time was not fast enough to qualify for the semifinals.
Former Tennessee star Justin Gatlin (9.95 seconds) edged out current Tennessee star Christian Coleman (9.98) in the men’s 100-meter finals.