Jamaican jumps world records on the horizon – Pullen
JAYDON HIBBERT, Carey McLeod and Wayne Pinnock could be world record holders in the future. That’s the view of 2016 Olympic triple jumper Clive Pullen who has helped to mentor the talented trio at the University of Arkansas. Pullen, an NCAA indoor...
JAYDON HIBBERT, Carey McLeod and Wayne Pinnock could be world record holders in the future. That’s the view of 2016 Olympic triple jumper Clive Pullen who has helped to mentor the talented trio at the University of Arkansas.
Pullen, an NCAA indoor triple jump winner for Arkansas in 2016 and 2017, works as an assistant to jumps coach Travis Geopfert, and has seen the growth of his young compatriots first-hand.
“They’re the face of the jumps in the future, the next generation,” said Pullen. “Obviously, I’ve had the most time with Travis and so I’m able to be that middle man between them and Travis and even for Jaydon, who is fresh off the island now, and may not know who the culture here and or have a lot of experience here, but being able to fill the void in that regard and help them to be where they are right now, it’s a blessing,” he said.
Speaking days after Hibbert and McLeod took the triple and long jumps respectively at the recent NCAA Indoor Championships, the former Kingston College stalwart added, “they’re the face of Jamaica’s jumps and we’re looking at the next world record holders.”
Hibbert broke Pullen’s Jamaica indoor triple jump record, 17.19 metres, and moved it to 17.54 in the helpful altitude of Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the same meet, McLeod tied James Beckford’s national indoor record of 8.40 with Pinnock fourth with a personal best, 8.33 metres.
Geopfert has been coaching Jamaicans since 2009 when he first went to Arkansas and met Alain Bailey and Tarik Batchelor, who like Pullen, Hibbert, McLeod and Pinnock, graduated from Kingston College. He noted that one element of the NCAA success is trust.
“When I say something, they trust what I say, and likewise when they say something, I trust what they say. And so it’s important to listen to their bodies and do things that they can handle and obviously, I’m extremely excited for Jaydon’s future and there’s exciting things to come, but we’re going to play the long game in this thing. We’re going to do it the right way for his entire career,” said Geofpert.
Arkansas has a long-standing jumps tradition and Geopfert has helped it along.
“As a young coach at the time, just turned 30 years’ old, and with Alain and Tarik, I did my very best to do right by them and things went well. Alain ended up jumping 8.34 that year. Tarik went 8.19 and also 16.53 in the triple jump, but significant personal bests. Alain was NCAA champion that year,” he recounted.
Geopfert pointed out that Hibbert’s big jump, a world under-20 record, came with a shortened approach. “He had limited competitions this indoor season, and he only came from 12 steps and those things were by design,” the coach explained.
In the meantime, the 28-year-old Pullen isn’t planning to retire. The Pan-Am and Commonwealth Games finalist cheerfully said, “I’m still in. I’m still in. They’re keeping me nice and young and fresh.”