Jayhlen Washington Sweeps USATF Long And Triple Jump

USATF Junior Olympic Championship Results

Jayhlen Washington graduated from North Brunswick last year after winning 13 NCHSAA 2A Individual crowns.  Though he graduated he began school a year early and still is only 18 years old.  Washington continued his track career with the Cape Fear Flyers this summer focusing on the Long Jump & Triple Jump.

Going into the season Washington didn't have his normal schedule leading up into the summer season.  Since he had graduated from North Brunswick he wasn't competing during the regular high school season.  Washington trained hard holding lofty goals for himself once the summer season came around.  He says, "Going into this year I told myself that the number one goal was to break 50 by the end of the year and I did everything I could to make sure it happened."

With many Triple Jump stars heading to the NC USATF Association Championships including North Carolina Gatorade Athlete of the Year Jamar Davis and All-American Kevin Snyder, Washington took down the elite 17-18 field.  Despite only jumping in a few competitions so far in the season Washington took the win jumping a new PR of 49-10.75.  

He'd head into the National meet with a ton of confidence.  Washington says, "I knew I've had 50 in me since my junior year of high school, all I needed to accomplish that was to fix my technique."  He graduated with a PR last summer of 49-10.5 in the triple jump.  His regional jump assured him that he was still capable of clearing 50 feet.  He also placed 3rd at the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships a year ago, knowing a national title was also insight for his final year in youth track.

As the triple jump got underway Washington took the lead after his second jump clearing 48-11.75.  On his next attempt, he would improve his lead even more with a jump of 50-11.5.  Washington would hold a 2 foot lead over Jequan Hogan heading into the final.

All of the top athletes fouled on their first attempt of the finals, but Hogan caught a big jump on his fifth overall attempt landing 50-6.25, still short of Washington.  Going into the final jump Washington was still in the lead.  Hogan would jump just before Washington's final attempt, and he caught a big one.  All eyes were on the officials measuring the jump to see if he had taken over the lead.  The jump measured just half an inch short of Washington as he landed at 50-11.  Washington had secured the national title passing on his final attempt.

"Being a national champion is one of the greatest feelings ever.  Not everyone can experience that and everyone looks up to national champions.  Being a national champ means that you have put in more work than any of your competitors and had more heart and were more dedicated. I would have to thank Coach Shawn and Coach Schmick for being there to push me and keep my drive going.  They were on me constantly and made sure that I stayed in shape and made sure I was ready for nationals this year." 
Though he set a big PR and finally cleared the 50-foot barrier, he admits he was hoping to clear 51 feet at the national meet.

Friday's triple jump win wasn't his only success from the national meet.  On Wednesday he also won the 17-18 Long Jump with a season-best mark of 23-11.  A year ago Washington set the North Carolina Indoor State Record with a jump of 24-7.5.
Washington will continue to compete in track and field at Sandhills Community College next year with the goal of competing in the USA Junior Championships.
With this being the final youth meet of his track career Washington gave some thanks to those that helped him along the way:

"I would like to thank all of the officials and volunteers for coming out to nationals and making sure everything ran smoothly.  I want to thank Coach Gary Bishop and his dad Charlie Bishop for coaching me to be one of the best.  I want to thank Coach Shawn McKee for always being there for me through the good times and the bad times he was my shoulder to cry on, my hype man, and my chauffeur the past three years.  Coach David Schmick for coaching me during my time with the Cape Fear Flyers and all of the coaches and athletes for the Cape Fear Flyers they supported me all three years of me being with them and I couldn't have asked for a better team.  I'd also like to thank Port City Track club and Havelock Heat Track Club they all supported me even though I wasn't their athlete.  I want to thank my mom Danika for helping me with my track career.  Lastly, I would like to thank my father Malik Washington for all the support and everything he has done for me he is the reason I ran track.  He has been my coach since my I was 5 and even though he lives in another state he was still able to coach me over the phone."