Courtney Corrin ’16 and Alex Florent ’15 will represent Team USA at the 2015 Pan American Junior Athletic Championships thanks to record-setting performances last week at the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Corrin jumped a wind-aided 21 feet, 6.25 inches en route to winning the women’s long jump, setting a new personal record for the first time in two years in the process. Jumpers each get six attempts, but only the best of those six attempts matter in the final standings. Four of Corrin’s attempts topped the next best jump of 20 feet, 6.5 inches. Corrin’s best jump, which was also a new school record, can be seen at the 3:10 mark of this video.
“I feel truly blessed to have set a school record, and now it’s time to set another school record,” Corrin said.
Corrin had won the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational in Cuba with a jump of 20’9” June 14, and she then set a new school record with a second-place effort of 21’5.25” at the New Balance Nationals June 21, before raising the stakes even further with her latest effort. However, her summer of competing is still not over, as her next chance to make history will be at the 2015 Pan-Am Junior Championships in Edmonton, where she will represent Team USA. The women’s long jump takes place Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. local time.
“Representing your country is an honor to me,” Corrin said. “You’re not just running for yourself, you’re running with the support of the United States of America. To be able to say that is beyond believable.”
Corrin says that her goal is to win gold with a jump of 22 feet and make her country proud.
Another Wolverine with a chance to make her country proud is Florent, who will compete in the women’s high jump at the same meet in Edmonton on August 1 at 6:50 p.m. local time.
“Unfortunately, the past two years I wasn’t able to make [Team USA], so being able to make it my senior year and to end my high school career on such a high note is super special to me,” Florent said.
Florent did not compete in Cuba with Corrin because high school graduates were ineligible for the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational, and she then came agonizingly close to breaking her own school record the following week. With a leap of 5’9.75” to take third place at the New Balance Nationals June 21, Florent joined Corrin as a 2015 New Balance Outdoor Track and Field All-American, but was still a quarter of an inch shy of her previous school record.
In Eugene, however, the Wake Forest commit finally got the job done. Florent finished second in the women’s high jump, in which athletes each get three tries to jump over a bar 165 centimeters high, which then progresses to 170 cm., 175 cm., and then increases in three cm. increments until a winner is crowned. Florent successfully jumped over a bar 181 cm. (5 feet, 11.25 inches), setting a school record and taking second place behind only national high school record holder Vashti Cunningham ’16 of Bishop Gorman.
“Setting a school record meant a lot to me, especially this year since I’m a senior,” Florent said. “Even though I would have liked to have left the school with a banner on the wall from state, it’s nice to know that I still left a legacy that will hopefully stand for a long time.”
Florent says her goal is to reach new heights, heights that she was unable to achieve in Eugene.
“A few goal of mine is to finally clear six feet (184 cm.),” Florent said. “Of course I want to medal also, but I think if I focus and keep doing what I’ve been doing that will come.”