Ja’la Henderson Qualifies For NCAA Indoor Track And Field National Championships

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Photo courtesy of University of Wyoming Track and Field/Cross Country.

LARAMIE, WY (February 27, 2019) – Cowgirl senior Ja’la Henderson has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships in the triple jump, it was announced Wednesday. She ranks ninth in the nation in the event with a school-record mark of 43 feet, 9.75 inches. The national championships are held Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, in Birmingham, Alabama.

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“It’s an exciting time,” said Wyoming jumps coach Quincy Howe. “It’s one of the most difficult championships to qualify for because only 16 women per event make the championships. It’s a high honor, and it’s a very elite group that she’s going to be a part of. That being said, she’s in a good position to be a first-team All-American, and we’re excited about that and excited for her, as well.”

The indoor national championships only take the top 16 competitors in the nation for each individual event, making it an extremely selective track & field competition. By comparison, 48 individuals have a chance to qualify in each event for the outdoor national championships, as 24 athletes compete at both the east and west preliminary championships for a chance to advance to the national championships.

Henderson set her championship-qualifying mark at the Texas Tech Shootout on February 8th in a meet that featured three NCAA qualifiers. Overall, Henderson has finished first in three long jump competitions this season, including a Mountain West title in the event.

Competitors who finish in the top eight at the national championships earn first-team All-American honors, while those that finish ninth through 16th are second-team All-Americans.

Henderson won the conference title last weekend with a mark of 42-8.25. She has won the conference title in each of the last two seasons.

Additionally, Henderson was an outdoor triple jump All-American last season, finishing 15th at the championship meet. She currently holds the school records in the indoor long and triple jumps, as well as the outdoor triple jump.

Henderson ranks tied for 15th in the long jump this season, but tiebreaker rules have her as the 17th-ranked jumper, just barely outside the qualifiers. She is one of only three athletes to be in the top-16 in both the long and triple jumps this season.

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