Brittney Reese Makes Fourth Career U.S. Olympic Team
EUGENE, Ore. – Ole Miss track & field alum Brittney Reese further cemented herself as one of the greatest athletes in American history, punching her fourth career ticket to the Olympic Games after winning her 13th career national title at Day Nine of the U.S. Olympic Trials on Saturday.
Reese was in command of the competition through both the qualifying round and Saturday’s final, never budging from her perch atop the standings once in either day of action amid a wire-to-wire win. Her windy first round effort today of 6.94m/22-09.25 (+2.4) put her in the driver’s seat early, but Reese put it away with three straight 7-meter jumps in the final three rounds – her best being a nearly foot-long season-best 7.13m/23-04.75 (+1.3) in the fifth round that ranks No. 3 in the world and registers as Reese’s best since 2017. The runner-up – reigning NCAA Champion Tara Davis of Texas – was still more than three inches behind Reese at 7.04m/23-01.25 (+1.4).
With her ticket to Tokyo now in hand, Reese stands among the elite in the history of women’s track & field in the United States. She is now one of just 16 women to make Team USA four times in track & field – with current Ole Miss head coach Connie Price-Smith being one of them (1988, ’92, ’96, 2000). Additionally, Reese is now among just four women in American history to qualify for the Olympics in the long jump four times alongside Willye White (1956, ’60, ’64, ’68, ’72), Martha Rae Watson (1964, ’68, ’72, ’76) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1984, ’88, ’92, ’96).
This was her 13th overall U.S. title across the indoor and outdoor seasons, but it was her ninth outdoors – putting her third all-time in U.S. history for women’s outdoor long jump titles behind Stella Walsh (11) and Willye White (10). Reese finished fourth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics right out of college before snagging gold in London in 2012 and silver in Rio in 2016.
“The goal was to come out here, have fun and make the team,” Reese said. “I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I knew my training has been going well all season long, so I knew some big jumps were going to come, I just had to go out and execute, so that’s what I did.”
At 34 years old, a peaking Brittney Reese must be a terrifying thought for jumpers around the world who may run into her in Tokyo. Since bursting onto the scene at Ole Miss in 2007, Reese has consistently been one of the most accomplished athletes around the globe, earning two Olympic medals and eight medals across the World Championships – including an incredible seven golds. She has now made Team USA 15 times across her four Olympic berths and 11 trips to the World Championships for the United States. In those world meets, Reese has only missed the final twice – the 2015 World Outdoor final in Beijing and the 2019 World Outdoor final in Doha. Pertaining to the latter, Reese famously wrote on her Instagram: “Just know that what happened today will NEVER happen again so long as I am competing,” and after a longer-than-expected wait for Tokyo, Reese is eager to prove herself again.
“I still am one of the best women’s long jumpers in this world,” Reese said. “I will prove it again, and I have, time and time again. But in Tokyo, I will try to come out on top and prove it again.”
Reese now heads to Tokyo with one goal in mind: end her storied career on her terms, which would involve another trip atop the Olympic podium.
“This will be my last Olympic Trials, and then my last Olympics, so I just came out here to live in the moment, have fun, and I did exactly what I wanted to do: make the team,” Reese said. “It’s bittersweet, but my time has come. This is my fourth team. I’m really excited about it, and I just want to go out with a bang. I’ve got one goal done, that was going out and making the team. Now, it’s to get gold.”
Fellow Olympian from 2012 and All-American Rebel alum Isiah Young punched his ticket into what is sure to be a blisteringly fast men’s 200-meter dash final after a strong semifinal race Saturday. Young collected an AQ spot to the final after finishing runner-up in the first heat at a wind-legal season-best 19.99 (+0.9), just one day after running an Olympic Standard and season-best 20.21 (-0.1) in the first round on Friday. Young’s wind-legal PR in the 200-meter is from the 2013 U.S. Championships, when he ran 19.86 (+1.6) to win the American title.
“I wanted to go out there and put myself in the best position to qualify for the final,” Young said. “All we did was execute just at a higher rate, and we’re on to the finals tomorrow.”
Young will be looking to book his second career trip to the Olympics, and he will be hoping to do so in the very same event as he did in 2012 in Sunday’s 200-meter dash final. The forecast Sunday looks to be just as hot as the last several days in Eugene, but the Hayward Field faithful will be there to catch the final day of competition before the U.S. delegation makes its way toward Japan.
“(The crowd) just shows y’all just how much the track season means to us,” Young said. “Having a whole year off, we came back this season hungry. I don’t know, it may have helped some people, others it may have affected them a lot. I’m just happy we get to compete this time around.”
Ole Miss has four chances left to book Olympic tickets to Tokyo on Sunday, the 10th and final day of the U.S. Olympic Trials. All-American senior Allen Gordon will be up first in the men’s long jump final at 3:30 p.m. CT, followed by the All-American duo of Craig Engels and Waleed Suliman in the men’s 1500-meter final at 7:10 p.m. CT and Young in the men’s 200-meter dash final at 7:22 p.m. CT. Fans can watch all the action live on NBC and NBCOlympics.com.
EUGENE, Ore. – Ole Miss track & field has concluded its 10-day stay at Hayward Field after four Rebels competed in... read more