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New generation of triple jumpers beginning legacy at Iowa

BY TOMMY REINKING | FEBRUARY 13, 2013 5:00 AM

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Troy Doris placed fourth in the triple jump in the NCAA indoor track and field meet in 2012. He earned All-American honors in 2011 — a year after he was a two-time junior-college national champion in the event. He won the Big Ten triple-jump title in his junior and senior years. His triple jump of 54-0 feet sits atop the Iowa record books.

But Doris graduated last year. In his place are freshmen David Nsabua and Klyvens Delaunay and sophomore transfer Babatunde Amosu.

These three don’t have nearly as many honors as Doris, but they are on their way.

“One thing [assistant] coach [Clive Roberts] is trying to do here is create a powerhouse in the jumps,” Nsabua said. “The three of us will definitely step up to the plate and follow up on what Troy did here.”

The young triple jumpers has made an impact this season, and they are one of the strengths of the Iowa men’s track and field squad.

Delaunay had a personal best leap of 51-3 1/2 feet at the Meyo Invitational on Feb. 2 to place third in the event. The leap is third farthest all-time at Iowa.

Amosu transferred from Texas A&M in January and didn’t compete for the Black and Gold until the Meyo Invitational. His first jump as a representative of Iowa was a 49-2 ½ foot leap that puts him fourth in the record books.

Nsabua recorded a leap of 47-3 ½ feet at the Adidas Classic on Jan. 19. That was good enough for the ninth-best leap in school history.

However, these marks aren’t enough for the trio.

“I’m not really impressed by it whatsoever, to be honest,” Nsabua said. “I felt like it was one of my worst performances ever. There’s just so much to me. I’ve got the home meet coming up, and hopefully, I can crack the top five and go from there.”

What makes Roberts so excited about the possibilities of what’s to come from the three jumpers is that they’re all young and have years to grow into better athletes.

“We’ve never had this much depth in the triple jump at Iowa since I’ve been here,” the fifth-year coach said. “It’s good to have three young guys in the program who are very talented. Hopefully, they’re able to push each other to make Iowa a better brand when it comes to the jumps.”

Another factor that makes the triple jumpers unique is where they grew up and competed before coming to Iowa.

Nsabua’s home town is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; Delaunay came to Iowa from Claremont, Calif., and Amosu grew up in London prior to competing for Texas A&M in his freshman year.

Amosu said it gives he and the other athletes another way to connect as teammates.

“It makes it great having us come from different places,” he said. “We’re used to being around new people, so it’s not hard to fit in. We all get along perfectly. There’s a lot of talent. With the training we’re getting, it’s going to be good.”

The influence of Doris is apparent. Nsabua first got into contact with the All-American a month before arriving at Iowa. He still talks to him every few weeks to receive tips on competing and transitioning to college track.

Doris may have been the best triple jumper to ever compete for the Hawkeyes, but there are three athletes on the team who are only a few feet, a few honors, and a few years from possibly matching him.

“He was a superstar in my eyes,” Amosu said. “He gives us something to reach for. We have high expectations for ourselves because of what he did here.”


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