CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Charleston Southern senior Braxton Drummond secured a spot in the 2016 United States Olympic Trials, shattered the Big South Conference long jump record and delivered the top effort in the NCAA Division I ranks this season on Saturday at the Hurricane Alumni Invitational.
Drummond jumped an impressive 8.10 meters on his first attempt to beat his closest competitor at the event, hosted by the University of Miami, by half a meter. It is .05 meters past the 8.05 automatic qualifying mark set by U.S.A Track & Field, and means that Drummond will participate in the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on July 2 and 3. There, he will have the opportunity to earn a spot in the Rio 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Drummond's mark is .19 meters better than the prior standing top Division I mark for the 2016 outdoor campaign.The showing was easily better than the outdoor best 7.72 meter distance he delivered at last week's Florida Relays, and now means Drummond holds the Big South long jump record for both indoor and outdoor competition.
The Spartanburg, S.C. native beat the prior league outdoor record, set by High Point's Kodi Coverson in 2000, by .19 meters. Drummond's Big South indoor record is 7.82 meters, a mark he recorded at the 2015 Virginia Tech Invitational.
CSU senior sprinter Kaishon Murray achieved one personal best and matched another to help out coach Roosevelt Lofton's squad.
Murray finished in the top fourth of the 100 and 200-meter dash fields, both of which featured many athletes from power conference programs across the country. He crossed the finish line of the 100 in 10.72 seconds to place 16th and match the effort he turned in at last weekend's Florida Relays. Murray added a time of 21.58 seconds in the 200 to take 17th in a field of 75 competitors in the 200, setting a new career benchmark in the process.
Jacob Moore and Jared Watkins also delivered solid performances for coach Roosevelt Lofton's Bucs. Moore threw 49.17 meters to set a new personal best in the hammer throw. Watkins, meanwhile, continued a strong senior year with a 2.00 meter leap in the high jump, good for 12th place.
CSU will head to Buies Creek, N.C. next Friday and Saturday for the Campbell Invitational. That event will be CSU's penultimate tune-up for the May 10-12 Big South Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships.