Sakari Famous targets top eight at NCAA high jump final
Sakari Famous is determined to put her best foot forward at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, today.
The McNeese State University junior is competing in the high jump final, where she hopes to achieve her objectives on the big stage.
“This year will be my second time attending the NCAA Championships; my first time was in 2019,” Famous told The Royal Gazette. “I did not perform well that time, so my expectations for this time around is to first place higher than I did in 2019.
“I also have the goal to become First-Team All-American, which is placing in the top eight of the competition.”
Famous finished tied for 21st after clearing the bar 1.70 metres on her debut at the national championships three years ago competing then as a freshman for the University of Georgia.
The 22-year-old athlete secured her spot in Oregon in fine style, having broken her own school and national outdoor records after clearing the bar at 1.84 metres at the NCAA Track and Field East Preliminary Round at the University of Indiana last month.
The feat was historic, as she is the first female high jumper from her school to qualify the national championships and second high jumper overall behind Michael Robertson, who achieved the feat in 1997.
Famous is both excited and honoured to showcase her talents among the best athletes in the United States.
“The NCAA Championships has some of the most talented athletes in the country,” she said. “Some of them will soon compete at the world level and even become Olympians within the years, so it is always an honour to compete in this competition.
“Just being in the same place where everyone will compete at their best is an awesome atmosphere to be around. It’s an opportunity I will for ever be thankful for.”
Famous also holds the Bermuda indoor record of 1.77 and is going into the NCAA Championships with her confidence soaring.
“Overall I believe my confidence started when I made it through regionals,” she said. “I just showed myself that I have what it takes to perform well at the national level.”
That confidence was further boosted after being named Southland Conference Women’s Athlete of the Week as well as Sportsperson of the Week by KPLC News in Louisiana in the lead-up to this week’s championships being hosted by the University of Oregon.
“Being named the local news channel KPLC Sportsperson of the Week was a pretty cool moment,” Famous added. “I was not expecting that at all.
“I thought I was just going to have a regular interview with the local news channel, and it was a surprise when the interviewer said that I will be their sportsperson of the week.
“I’m grateful to be a part of the community here at Lake Charles and I appreciate that they believe that my achievements should be showcased on their channel.”