Leighton Levy, Sunday Gleaner Writer
A week after winning her first-ever indoor meet with a leap of 6.20 metres at the Auburn Invitational, Chanice Porter set a new personal best of 6.41m to win the long jump at the Arkansas Indoor Invitational last Friday night. She earned her school 10 valuable points with the win.
Porter, the 18-year-old University of Georgia freshman, leapt to her second win in as many starts this indoor season and was dominant in her series during which she broke six metres on every jump, besting A'Lexus Brannon of Texas (6.11m) and Mara Griva from Nebraska (6.05m), who were second and third, respectively. The usually shy Manchester High graduate said she surprised herself with her performance.
"I was a bit surprised. I never expected to have gone that far and with all my jumps over six metres," she said. Porter's second best jump, 6.21m, would have won the event and she also produced horizontal leaps of 6.19 (twice) and 6.05m. She fouled one jump.
The 2011 World Youth long jump champion said it was a combination of factors that contributed to her strong showing at the Razorback Invitational.
"I think it was the runway," she said. "It was more raised than the one before and plus I'm getting used to the indoors so I'm learning to control my speed and so I have a more effective run up."
Bearing in mind that she intends to make Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Russia this coming August, Porter feels like there is a lot more work to be done as she looks to become one of the best long jumpers in the world. Her strength is not where she wants it to be but her technique, she says, is improving.
"I won't say I'm stronger, but I'm more technically sound because my legs are not that strong as they used to be but on the technical side, I'm learning a new landing technique and my coach is just trying overall for me to get a better technique but I'm working on these things as the season progresses," she said.
Jumping 6.41m in only her second meet of the indoor season has Porter thinking she could possibly equal her personal outdoor best of 6.58m indoors; perhaps even exceed it. She produced that personal best for fourth place at the World Youth Championships in Barcelona, Spain, last year.
"At the moment, I'm looking for anything because of the jump yesterday (Friday). And if a do get the 6.58m I would be looking forward to jumping a longer distance outdoors because I never want my indoor PR to be better than my outdoors," she concluded.