Jah-Nhai Perinchief soars to SEC triple jump title
Jah-Nhai Perinchief blazed his way to glory at the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships in Byron-College Station, Texas at the weekend.
The 23-year-old University of Tennessee senior won the men’s triple jump with a wind-assisted best leap of 16.89 metres (55ft 5in) in the third round of the preliminaries at Texas A&M’s EB Cushing Stadium, and the mark stood up when the field was reduced to the top nine plus ties in the final.
Perinchief is the first athlete from his college to win the title in 34 years.
Alabama’s Christian Edwards claimed the silver with a leap of 16.51 while Laquan Nairn, of Arkansas, secured the bronze with a leap of 16.40 to round off the podium.
Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, said. “I am very proud of Jah-Nhai.
“This has been a long time coming for him. He has had to fight through injury after injury, but now it looks like everything has finally come together.
“I always knew he had the potential and know he has the potential to go even farther. I have always been in his corner and was patiently waiting for it all to come together.”
Perinchief’s crowning moment arrived 24 hours after failing to record a legal jump in the long jump on Friday.
“Saturday morning I was talking to Jah-Nhai about his long jump the day before,” Rohaan Simons, the national jumps coach, said. “That conversation then led me to have the utmost in confidence in what he would achieve in the triple.
“His confidence is at an all-time high, which is pushing him to want the absolute best out of his jumping. It's something that has come in smaller doses due to injuries, which anybody could understand.
“He also has been mentored by the best, our own Brian Wellman [four-times Olympian and former indoor world champion]. He's been there to break down his jumps and guide him, along with his college coach.
“This is something that I truly love about the fact that we have world-class coaches right here to give that next-level push and added confidence when needed. My hat definitely goes off to Brian for this.”
Simons added: “It was definitely a proud moment.
“I've always been proud of Jah-Nhai, no matter what he's done, and will always be there in whatever capacity.”
Perinchief did not take part in the high jump, his speciality event.
Also competing at the championships was Sakari Famous, who finished tied for thirteenth in the women’s high jump with a leap of 1.70 metres representing Georgia.
Wellman’s alma mater, the University of Arkansas, swept the men’s and women’s team titles to continue their dominance at the event.