NAMPA, Idaho – Senior Whitney Gipson soared to win the women’s long jump gold medal at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships Friday, matching the NCAA record with a top jump of 22-8 feet (6.91m).
“I knew it would only take one good jump going to the meet,” Gipson said. “I came in ranked first in the country and I knew I needed to stay in that range to give myself a chance. I just had to put everything together. I’ve really been working on my take-offs and my jumps, but I have never jumped anything like that before. I still have a lot of work to do, but it means a lot to know that I am an NCAA champion. It is amazing to me. Every day, I walk by our banner that has all of the national champions listed and I always pictured myself with them. I knew I was going to have to work hard and now I’ve done it.”
The North Richland Hills, Texas native hit the historic mark on her fifth attempt to pull away from the rest of the field. Gipson’s jump ties the NCAA all-time record set by Auburn’s Elva Goulbourne in 2002 and rewrites new benchmarks for TCU, the Mountain West, Jacksons Track Complex and the NCAA Indoor Championships meet. Her mark is currently tied for the world lead and is an Olympic standard.
Gipson becomes the first female Frog to ever win an NCAA Championship and the eighth TCU track & field individual overall. Distance runner Jackson Langat was the last Frog to win NCAA gold, capturing the 800-meter indoor crown in 2006. Gipson also becomes the first ever NCAA champion from a field event. She is just the fifth TCU athlete to claim an individual title, joining former Frogs legends Raymond Stewart, Kim Collins, Khadevis Robinson and Langat.