Mapaya soars to NCAA-leading triple jump mark

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Chengetayi Mapaya

Triple jump sensation Chengetayi Mapaya qualified for his fourth National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Outdoor Championship with a leap of 17.07m on Day Three of the NCAA West Regional meet at the John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus on Friday.

It was yet another successful outing for the gifted Zimbabwean, whose victory came off the back of winning his third consecutive Big 12 Triple Jump Championship and his fifth overall title.

Mapaya’s winning mark of 17.07m means he takes over as the NCAA leader in the triple jump while it also places him seventh in the world.

However, it was short of his personal best of 17.13m he achieved in 2019 and the Zimbabwe outdoor triple jump record of 17,34 set by Ndabazinhle Mdhlongwa in March 1998.

The Texas Christian University (TCU) star was in a class of his own on Friday as his winning mark of 17.07 was well clear of second-placed Keyshawn King of Stanford University, who had a best leap of 16.77 m.

Another Stanford University student-athlete Kevin Yang came third after jumping 15.39 m.

Mapaya is one of six TCU athletes who punched their tickets to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Day Three of the NCAA West Regional.

The Zimbabwean duo of Tinotenda Matiyenga and Kundai Maguranyanga were part of the TCU 4x100m relay which clocked a 38.89 to finish third in their heat and automatically qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. It was the fourth sub-39 time the 4×100 team has run this season.

Maguranyanga and Matiyenga were also joined by another Zimbabwean athlete Simbarashe Maketa in the 4x400m relay which also booked their ticket to Eugene running 3:02.17, the third-fastest time in school history to win their heat and automatically qualify for the NCAAs.

Matiyenga capped off their spectacular day by qualifying in the 200m with a time of 20.61.

The hardworking Matiyenga ran in four events on the day and finished 14th overall in the 100m quarterfinals with a time of 10.20.

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