SDSU's Shanieka Thomas Claims NCAA Title in the Triple Jump

June 7, 2013

EUGENE, Ore. - San Diego State junior Shanieka Thomas won the national title in the Triple Jump to lead the 23rd-ranked Aztecs at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday in Eugene, Ore. She became the fifth individual national champion in program history and second straight, joining Whitney Ashley, who won the Discus at the 2012 championship meet.

Thomas, who finished runner-up in the event at both the 2013 indoor meet and 2012 outdoor meet, beat the other 23 entrants with a best of 46'-4.75'' (14.14 meters). The mark, which came on her fourth attempt, easily defeated runner-up Andrea Geubelle of Kansas (44-08.75 (13.63m)).

"We knew early that Shanieka was going to do great things here," head coach Shelia Burrell said. "She has worked hard since last year and she just keeps getting better and better. To have a national champion again shows how far this program has come. The best part about Shanieka is that she wants to get better. (Assistant coach) Carjay (Lyles) has her in top form."

"It feels so good to be an NCAA champion," Thomas said. "I knew I couldn't underestimate the competition, considering how talented of a group they were. I just tried to stay focused and get to 14.20 (meters). We've worked hard since the fall and I owe a lot of that to (assistant coach) Carjay (Lyles). I want to keep getting better."

Thomas, who was seeded first heading into the event with her school record, Mountain West record and MW Championship meet-record jump of 46'-5.25'' (14.15m) at the MW Championships on May 11, went 44'-4.50'' (13.52m), foul and 44'-9.75'' (13.66m) in the first flight. She then posted the winning leap of 46'-4.75'' (14.14m) on her fourth attempt and followed with 46'-2.50'' (14.08m) and 45'-7.75'' (13.91m) on her final two jumps. Four of her six attempts would have won the competition.