July 30, 2011

BIRMINGHAM, England - Texas A&M senior Julian Reid claimed the long jump title on Saturday as he contested his first UK Trials and Championships. With a leap of 26 feet, 5 ½ inches (8.06 meters) Reid recorded his second best mark ever in winning the event.

Earlier this summer Reid established a personal best of 26-6 ¼ (8.08) as runner-up in his native Jamaican Championships. He still needs to acquire at least the B standard of 26-7 (8.10) to qualify for the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, which will be held in late August.

"It's a very humbling feeling, my first time competing here on British soil," noted Reid, who will compete in the triple jump on Sunday. "The competition was so fierce, even without two of Britain's top jumpers. I'm just so happy to be here on such a beautiful day.

"There's one more possible meet for me to try to get the standard. If all goes well I will be attacking the A standard (26-11 / 8.20), but if I fall short I will also be pleased because the UK will have two of the best in the world - Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford - who have already obtained it."

Reid battled JJ Jegede for the victory at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium. Jegede established a career best of 26-4 ½ (8.04) as the runner-up and led the competition with a first round effort of 26-0 (7.92). Reid neared that early leading mark with a 25-11 (7.90) in round three and then took over first place with a fourth-round 26-4 ½.

In the fifth stanza Jegede equaled Reid with his own 26-4 ½ leap. Reid countered with an improvement to 26-5 ½ to reclaim the leading distance. Both Reid and Jegede moved into the all-time top 10 list for British jumpers in the No. 9 and No. 10 positions.

On Friday at the UK Championships, Aggie graduate Yasmine Regis finished second in the women's triple jump with a mark of 44-8 (13.61) just behind the winning distance of 44-10 ½ (13.67).

Also in Europe this weekend Texas A&M senior Natasha Ruddock competed in her first professional race, posting a time of 13.16 seconds in the 100 hurdles for fifth place at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial held in Budapest, Hungary. It was the first race in over a month for Ruddock.

"It felt so good," noted Ruddock. "I'm happy I was able to come back after all that time off. I've very happy with my time, it can only get better after having missed so many races."

Another Aggie competing in the Budapest meet was former two-time NCAA 200m champion Porscha Lucas, who placed fifth in the 200 with a time of 23.28. The race was won by Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown in 22.26 with Sanya Richards-Ross runner-up in 22.63.

Reid runner-up in triple jump at UK Championships

A day after claiming his first British long jump title, Texas A&M senior Julian Reid placed second in the triple jump at the UK Trials and Championships held at Birmingham Alexander Stadium with a mark of 54-2 ¾ (16.53).

Reid finished exactly one foot behind winner Larry Achike, who jumped 55-2 ¾ (16.83) in the first round, while defending world champion Phillips Idowu opted not to compete this weekend. Achike fouled his second attempt and didn't take another jump the rest of the competition. Reid achieved his best effort in the sixth round after securing second place with a 53-9 (16.38) in round two.

Had Reid attained the triple jump title on Sunday he would have been the first long jump-triple jump double winner at the UK Championships since Fred Alsop accomplished the feat in 1965. Reid needs to reach a standard of 55-3 ½ (16.85) to qualify for the World Championship triple jump field in August.