NCAA Championships: Turner Earns All-America honors in long jump
Day 1 of the NCAA Track & Field Championships for the University of La Verne was highlighted by junior Paul Turner's personal best of 24 feet, 1 inch in the men's long jump to earn All-America honors Thursday night at Fritz Burns Track in Claremont.
Turner placed fifth in the competition to give the Leopard men four points on the opening day of the NCAA Championships. Leopard senior Marcus Fortugno qualified for the final of the men's 200 meters by running 21.44 during the preliminaries on Thursday to earn the last spot in Saturday's final.
A highly competitive men's long jump final saw six athletes surpass the 24-foot barrier during the competition. Turner entered as the defending champion with a winning leap of 23-7 at last year's championships. After opening the competition with a jump of 23-9, Turner reached 24-1 on his second attempt.
Wisconsin La Crosse's Isaac Vazquez placed first overall in the men's long with with a leap of 24-11 3/4 with Wartburg's Jonas Elusme in the runner-up spot at 24-10 1/2.
Turner, who earns All-America honors for the third time in his career, stands one inch off Kirk Dean's 25-year old school record of 24-2 set in 1987. He will compete in the men's triple jump on Saturday, entering with the nation's leading mark this season at 50-9 1/2 set in March.
Fortugno, who entered the 200 prelims with a personal best of 21.31, placed second in his heat with a clocking of 21.41 to claim the last spot in Saturday's 200 meter final. Leopard sophomore Chancise Watkins raced to a time of 21.44 to also place second in his heat, placing 11th overall.
Both Fortugno and Watkins will be competing Friday in the men's 400 preliminaries scheduled for 6:10 pm on Day 2 of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.