MileSplit will be publishing blog entries from top returning track & field athletes representing various events and disciplines throughout the indoor and outdoor season this year. Our first athlete blog submission comes from last summer's 3rd place finisher at the World IAAF Youth Championships in the triple jump in Keturah Orji from Mount Olive High School in New Jersey. Orji recorded a New Jersey state record and US #2 all-time performance at the 2013 World IAAF Youth Championships and the University of Georgia recruit returns this year for her final year of high school as obviously top returning prep athlete in the event. Orji is also one of the nation's best in the long jump (20'11.75") and represented the United States in international competition as well last summer in the long jump with a runner-up silver medal finish at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine.
Keturah Orji (NJ) - Blog Entry #1 (1/9/14)
I don’t like just running because the jumps are my favorite events and I feel like I need to dedicate more time to it, but because NJ Indoor Track does not have jumping I have to focus on running more. Also, our school does not have an indoor track facility so even if I wanted to jump I would not be able to use a sand pit.
The track has been covered by snow majority of the season so I feel like we have not done enough hard workouts because we are stuck in the basement of our school.
Triple Jump Camp
I recently went to a TJ Camp in Miami, Florida so I was able to get some jumping in there which I was excited about and learn more about the event. I have so much fun with the other athletes that have the same passion as I do. Also, a lot of the people there tell me how they look up to me and that I am their inspiration so it is always good to hear that encouragement.
Yesterday I had a meet and ran the 4x2, sprint med (400) and 4x4. I split 25.8, 59.8, and 1:02.
At meets I usually run the 55, 300, 400, 4x2, 4x4, and sprint medley, but not all at one meet. I think everyone knows I hate the 400, but I am the teams fastest 400 runner so I often run it more than once at a meet. Even though I hate it, it helps a lot with endurance for your legs. That endurance will help you respond to your competition during jump finals when they have put out bigger jumps than you. You don’t want your legs to be dead during finals. I love the 55 and 4x2; they’re quick and always get the crowd involved. The 55 helps your speed and turnover before I take off to jump.
My first jump meet is New Balance Games which I will only be long jumping at. It probably won’t be from a full approach either because I have a long season ahead of me and need to focus on my form. Short approaches help to reveal my weaknesses because my speed makes up for a lot of my form errors. If you get rid of some of the speed it allows me to control my body better and force me to rely on form to jump further.
For NBN, I’m eager to compete against the best high school jumpers. Almost all the triple jumpers I met at triple jump camp will be there so it’s always fun to get a fun, friendly, competition going.
I recently committed to University of Georgia and cannot wait to finish high school. On my visit, I got along with the coach and team really well; I loved the facilities, dorms, and campus. Also the school is ranked pretty high academically for public colleges.