PISCATAWAY, NJ - Shameka Marshall (Mitzpah, NJ), the Rutgers University record-holder in the long jump, will compete against the top U.S. athletes at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Sacramento, CA this weekend.
Marshall, who finished in 13th place at the NCAA Championships in Austin, TX last month, is the 2004 BIG EAST and ECAC champion in the long jump. In a USA Track and Field qualifying meet at The College of New Jersey on June 22, Marshall broke her own school record by hitting the U.S. Olympic qualifying mark of 21-4 (her previous personal best was 20-10 ½ at the BIG EAST Championships in May).
“Qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials has been a goal of mine since I went to the junior national meet as a freshman,” said Marshall, who will enter her senior year at Rutgers in September. “I just buckled down and trained really hard and thank God I have been progressing. It’s been a good season. I am just going to go out there and try to do my best.”
Marshall will be one of 24 women from around the nation vying for one of three spots that will comprise the U.S. long jump team. On July 12, the 24 long jumpers will have three jumps each in the preliminaries and the top 12 will advance to the finals on July 15. The 12 finalists will have three jumps each and the top eight will move on to the final round of competition later that day. From there, each athlete will again have three jumps and the women who finish in the top three of this final round will represent the U.S. Olympic team in Athens, Greece in August (provided they hit the Olympic qualifying standard of 21-0).
Marshall is the first Rutgers women’s track and field athlete to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials since Desiree Scott, who was a 1988 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 3000m and 5000m.
Marshall is also a standout in the 100-meter hurdles and was the 2004 BIG EAST champion in that event as well. Her time of 13.52 in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA Regionals in May established a school record.