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Ex-Mansfield Lake Ridge star Jasmine Moore clinches first Olympics berth after placing third in triple jump

Moore’s 46 feet, 5.25 inch jump sealed the biggest milestone in her burgeoning, glittering career.
Mansfield Lake Ridge senior Jasmine Moore poses for a portrait at The Dallas Morning News on Friday, May 24, 2019. Moore won UIL Class 6A state titles in long jump and triple jump. In triple jump, she broke the state and national high school record. She’s won 14 UIL state medals in her high school career.(Ashley Landis / Staff Photographer)

By Callie Caplan

EUGENE, Ore. — Jasmine Moore’s last triple-jump attempt Sunday in the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials didn’t count, but the moments afterward were some of her most memorable.

The 20-year-old Moore qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a third-place finish in the event, and immediately after she stood up from the sand pit, triple-jump champion Keturah Orji mobbed her with a hug.

As Moore walked back to the bench area, the Hayward Field public address announcer highlighted her rookie Olympic berth.

The 2019 Mansfield Lake Ridge graduate looked toward her family in the third row of the section right in front of the runway.

She held her hands over her face and bowed over.

Two years after capping her UIL track and field dominance and one year after she might’ve been one of the few to benefit — at least on the field — from the 2020 Olympics delay, Moore’s 46-feet, 5.25-inch jump sealed the biggest milestone in her burgeoning, glittering career.

“This made it all worth it — the tears, the hurt, the bad, the good — for this moment right here,” Moore said. “Just thankful.”

Had the coronavirus pandemic not forced officials to postpone the Games to 2021, Moore might not have been in the position she was Sunday — taking a victory lap with an American flag around Hayward Field.

Moore’s dad, Earl, isn’t sure she would have met the triple jump’s Olympic qualifying standard (47 feet, 2.5 inches) a year ago. She was a freshman at Georgia, only one year removed from her illustrious four years at Mansfield Lake Ridge.

Sure, Moore would’ve been competitive, as she was when she won nine state championships at Lake Ridge and several national titles on the summer youth meet circuit.

But Moore enhanced her chances by training through the pandemic. She buckled down for a quasi-quarantined summer in Athens, Ga., and powered through her sophomore year feeling more composed on the field and in a better rhythm with balancing her school work with living far from home.

She surpassed the Olympic standard with her personal-best 46 feet, 21/2 inches at the SEC outdoor meet in mid-May for her third conference triple-jump title in three tries.

Her longest triple jump last year: 45-1, which would’ve ranked fifth in the trials final.

On Sunday night, though, she jumped at least 46 feet in all four of her legal attempts.

She finished just over a foot ahead of the fourth-place distance.

“Obviously everyone wants to be an Olympian when they’re younger,” Moore said, “but for me to officially say that I’m an Olympian, it’s crazy.”

That’s not to say Moore has been focused only on jumping.

She’s been in Eugene since early this month, first for the NCAA outdoor championships and then to train leading into the Olympic trials qualifying round of triple jump Friday.

Between workouts, Moore has balanced taking a calculus class and participating in a marketing internship with speaker company JBL.

Her family has tried to help ease the grind.

They rented two different Airbnbs for Moore and her Georgia triple-jump teammate, Titiana Marsh, to break up their stay at the team hotel.

Moore’s parents were in town for her NCAA meet last weekend, flew back to the Dallas area for a few days of work, and then returned to Eugene Friday.

The rest of her cheering squad will head home soon, but Moore’s Olympic push isn’t over.

She’ll remain in Eugene for another week, preparing for the long jump qualifying round Thursday and, if she finishes in the top 12, the final Saturday.

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