Chadron State College has another All-American long jumper.
Friday afternoon at the NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala., Chadron State sophomore Naishaun Jernigan placed eighth in the men’s long jump by going 7.27 meters, or 23 feet, 10 ¼ inches.
It’s the sixth time a Chadron State male athlete has earned All-American honors in the long jump indoors. While his jump was not as far as his previous best of 24-3 this winter, Eagles’ Coach Riley Northrup noted that only the top three finishers had marks exceeding their season bests entering the national competition.
The long jump winner was Kizan David of Lincoln University in Missouri of 25- ¾. Second place went to Dashaun Morgan of Montevillo University in Alabama at 24-11 ¾ and third was Chris Goodwin of Central Missouri at 24-10. All three are seniors.
David was the long jump runner-up at the National Indoor Meet in 2019 when the Eagles’ Isaac Grimes won the event by going 25-8 ¾, two inches beyond David’s mark.
Finishing fourth this year was Joe Oreva Eafiadhe, a freshman from of Carson-Newman in Tennessee at 24-5 ¾. He was leading Division II with a mark of 25-8 ¾ entering the national meet.
Fifth was Glenn Butler of Lincoln University of Pennsylvania at 24-5 ½, followed by Christian Davis of Concordia-St. Paul at 24-1 ½ and Peter Ackah of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs at 23-10 ¾, just a half inch farther than Jernigan jumped.
A year ago, Jernigan qualified for the National Indoor Championships in the triple jump, but the meet was cancelled by the COVID Pandemic just 24 hours before the competition was to begin. Coach Northrup said he is confident Jernigan, will someday place in both the long and triple jumps at a national meet.
“He’s already qualified for nationals in both events as a sophomore, so it could happen this outdoor season,” Northrup said. “Naishaun has lots of talent.”
Jernigan is from Springfield, Mass., and came to Chadron State after filling out a questionnaire on line his senior year of high school.
“I immediately contacted him and it didn’t take long for him to decide he was coming here,” Northrup remembers.
Particularly since 2015, Chadron State has been strong in the long jump. Damarcus Simpson won the silver medals indoors and the gold medals outdoors at the national meets in both 2015 and 2016. Then Grimes was the indoor champion and the outdoor silver medalist, both in 2019
In addition, Chadron State women have placed in the long jump at national meets a dozen times, led by Stacia Reuwsaat, a native of Rapid City, who was the gold medalist indoors in both 2016 and 2017 and the silver medalist outdoors in 2016.