Mississippi Athletes Competing in Tokyo: BRITTNEY REESE

Perhaps the greatest Mississippi star in athletics history, Brittney Reese graduated from Gulfport High School in 2004. While at Gulfport, Reese was a jumps specialist, where she won multiple state records in the Long Jump and Triple Jump (the exact number is unfortunately unknown). 

After graduation, Reese attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where she actually played basketball, and not track and field. Not only did she play, but she was one of the star players, as she was made the All-Region team, the All-American Honorable Mention list, and was also selected for the MACJC All-Star Game. 

After graduating from MGCCC in 2006, she was recruited and signed to the University of Mississippi, AKA Ole Miss, where she would go back to her roots in track and field and jump for the Lady Rebels. It was there where her resume truly began to build for Reese. 

Her first year competing in 2007, Reese won SEC Indoor and Outdoor National Titles in the Long Jump. She also placed 3rd in the High Jump at SEC Indoors and 4th Outdoors. At the National Level, Reese placed 4th in the Long Jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships and 2nd at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Those performances qualified her to go to the 2007 U.S. Championships, where she then placed 2nd in the Long Jump. That Top 3 finish was good enough to be selected to represent Team USA at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, where she made the final and finished 8th. And with all of that being said, let's remember that this was her first time coming back to the sport since high school. 

In 2008, an Olympic Year and a year of experience under her belt, Reese was back and better than ever. At the 2008 SEC Indoor Championships, Reese competed in the High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, AND 60-meter dash, making the final and scoring for all 4 events. She of course won the Long Jump, placed 2nd in the Triple Jump, 3rd in the High Jump, and an astonishing 6th in the 60m, scoring a total of 27 points solo for the Lady Rebels. She then went on to win the Long Jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships, her first NCAA title, as well as placing 3rd in the High Jump. 

She again competed in all 3 jumps at the SEC Outdoor Championships, where she won the Long Jump and placed 2nd in the Triple Jump and High Jump. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, she only competed in the Long Jump, where she won her 2nd NCAA title in a then PR of 22-9. She also jumped High Jumped 6-0.5 at the NCAA Mideast Regional, taking the W. 

After her collegiate career was done, Reese was focused on making her first-ever Olympic Team in her specialty event, the Long Jump. And after placing 2nd the year before, Reese came back and won the 2008 US Olympic Trials, qualifying her to represent Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She went on to again qualify for the Final, placing 5th. 

After that Olympic Year and a first national title in 2008, that was when the winning streak started... 

Reese came back to the U.S. Track and Field Championships to defend her title in the Long Jump, which she did successfully. She then went to the World Championships for the 3rd year in a row in Berlin, Germany, and won her first-ever World Title in the Long Jump. Then...

Reese won the 2010 World Indoor Title in Doha, Qatar. 

She won the 2011 World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea. 

She won the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, which was also an American Indoor Record performance. 

She won the 2012 Olympic Games in London, United Kingdom

She won the 2013 World Outdoor Championships in Moscow, Russia. 

She won the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon. 

She won the 2017 World Outdoor Championships in London, United Kingdom. 

She also placed 2nd at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2nd at the 2018 World Indoor Championships. 

So, as you can see, Reese had quite the pedigree going into the 2020* U.S. Olympic Trials... and she did not disappoint. 

At the Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Reese further cemented herself as not only one of the top field athletes in American history, but also in world history, as she qualified for her 4th Olympic Games and will once again represent Team USA competing in the Long Jump in Tokyo. Reese took command and never budged from her #1 spot on either day of action, and won her 13 U.S. title in track and field. 

This makes Reese one of, if not the most consistent track and field athlete competing at the World Stage, and she has been near the top time and time again since bursting onto the scene in 2007. And after a long and eager wait to see if she will be in Tokyo, Reese is already ready to compete again. 

"I still am one of the best women's long jumpers in this world," Reese said. "I will prove it again, and I have, time and time again. But in Tokyo, I will try to come out on top and prove it again."

Reese is set to compete in the opening rounds of the Women's Long Jump on July 31, and if she makes the final, and I am sure she will, then she will be jumping for yet another gold medal on August 2.