Tuesday, July 29, 2008
By Graham Hays, ESPN.com
ITHACA, N.Y. -- You won't find any record of the jump that left Mike Powell's mouth agape while looking on at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Arkansas last spring. Cornell long jumper Jeomi Maduka missed the board by perhaps the length of a toe, and so the graceful explosion that subsequently propelled her through the air and into the pit never happened, at least according to the official results.
Good luck convincing either Powell or Cornell men's track coach Nathan Taylor it was a mirage.
"I refused to believe it," Taylor said of his initial reaction watching the jump. "However, I was sitting right next to the current world-record holder in the men's long jump, and an Olympic champion, and he said, 'Oh my God, did you see that?'"
By Taylor's estimate, it was perhaps the longest jump by an American woman in more than a decade and would have ranked Maduka among the top handful of jumpers in the world this year. Even with the memorable foul, Maduka still jumped far enough in her recorded efforts to finish eighth overall and earn All-America honors as a result.
Not bad for a basketball player who is going to medical school and plays a mean violin.
For Graham Hays' full story from ESPN.com, please click here.