Cautiously optimistic about qualifying for Jamaica’s team to the IAAF World Championships in September, Chanice Porter got her outdoor season off to a wonderful start on the weekend with her best ever opener in the long jump and a personal best in the 100m.

On Friday, at the Specs Town Invitational in Athens, Georgia, the 24-year-old Porter launched out to solid 6.67m, eclipsing her previous best opener of 6.60m. The 6.67m also mirrored the mark with which she won the NCAA title in 2016.

This time, however, she had to settle for finishing second to training partner Keturah Orji, who won the event with 6.69m.

Then on Saturday, running the 100m dash, Porter surprised herself with an 11.67s clocking, finishing third behind Makyla Stanley’s 11.57 and Brandee Presley’s 11.60.

As might be expected, Porter was quite encouraged by the results.

“Jumping 6.67m over the weekend says a lot about my preparations going forward because this was the first time I opened up competition with such a huge jump,” Porter told Sportsmax.TV afterwards.

“That shows that we are doing the right things.”

Notwithstanding the good start, Porter believes she can improve on a few things that will result in her jumping even farther.

“There are more things left to work on, because even Friday when I was competing, coach was saying that ‘Hey, you need to do this to pop more’ because I was so flat,” she explained.

“I was flat and still jumping far, so we still have a lot of things to work on, trying to fix everything and let it come together. I have speed but no speed on the runway. It is hard to transfer the speed that I actually have, so we have to work on transferring my speed to the runway and then working on my pop off the board.

“We still have a lot to do but the jump was a good start but there is still more that I can do and more that I need to go to getting a farther good jump.”

She seemed so much happier about her 100m time, which was a huge new personal best.

“11.67? Wow!” she exclaimed.

“The goal was to just get under 12 seconds because over the past week my teammate (Orji) and I were talking about just doing the 100 just to see where we were at because we haven’t run the 100m is probably four years,” she said.

“My PR before was 11.92 and that was my sophomore year in college and that was a long time ago. The race felt good, the only thing that was wrong with the race was I have no idea how to start. Coming out of the blocks, that was weird because everybody was gone and I had to run and catch the whole field. It was a good race.”

Porter, who has been plagued by a tender ankle since she had an operation to remove a bone spur during her freshman year in college, said that if the ankle holds up, she will definitely harbour ambitions of booking a spot to Doha this September for the IAAF World Championships.

“I am looking forward to it if my body is feeling good,” she said.

Source: Leighton Levy