US Track Trials Athletics

Hartselle High graduate Quanesha Burks competes during the finals of the women’s long jump at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Saturday in Eugene, Ore. She placed third to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. [CHARLIE RIEDEL/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

Quanesha Burks, a former track star at Hartselle High and the University of Alabama, earned a spot in the Olympics by placing third in the long jump during the United States Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Burks secured the third spot by jumping a personal best of 6.96 meters or 22 feet and 10 inches. Brittney Reese finished first with a jump of 7.13 meters (23-4¾) and Tara Davis finished second with a jump of 7.04 meters (23-1¼).

At Hartselle High, Burks, in her senior year in 2013, won the 5A 60-meter dash, the triple jump and the long jump. At the University of Alabama, Burks won the long jump at the 2015 NCAA outdoor championships.

The Summer Olympics will take place from July 23 to Aug. 8 in Tokyo. The women’s long jump competition is set for Aug. 1.

This was Burks' second time to participate in the Olympic trials. In 2016 she jumped 6.72 meters in the preliminaries and advanced to the second day of trials competition. She ended up placing ninth with a jump of 6.36 meters and didn't make the eight-athlete cutoff for the final competition.

Reese made her fourth Olympic team in the long jump. She won gold in the long jump at the 2012 London Olympics, then took the silver at the Rio Games. She's also a seven-time world champion. Davis was fresh off of winning the NCAA long jump title in Eugene just two weeks ago.

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cgodbey@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2441. Twitter @DecaturLiving.

(1) comment

Clinton Herbert

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