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Keshun McGee jumps to top of Big Sky

Sophomore+Keshun+McGee+competes+in+the+long+jump+at+the+Whitworth+Buc+Scoring+Meet+on+March+17.+At+the+Big+Sky+Championships+on+May+11%2C+McGee+won+the+long+jump+and+placed+second+in+the+triple+jump+%7C+Photo+courtesy+of+EWU+Athletics
Sophomore Keshun McGee competes in the long jump at the Whitworth Buc Scoring Meet on March 17. At the Big Sky Championships on May 11, McGee won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump | Photo courtesy of EWU Athletics

Sophomore Keshun McGee competes in the long jump at the Whitworth Buc Scoring Meet on March 17. At the Big Sky Championships on May 11, McGee won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump | Photo courtesy of EWU Athletics

Sophomore Keshun McGee competes in the long jump at the Whitworth Buc Scoring Meet on March 17. At the Big Sky Championships on May 11, McGee won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump | Photo courtesy of EWU Athletics

By Taylor Newquist, Reporter

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Sophomore Keshun McGee became the first Eagle ever to win the Big Sky Conference outdoor long jump title on May 10, while also opening the gates to the best EWU men’s team finish since 2013. McGee added to his stellar weekend with a second-place medal in the triple jump the following day, scoring 18 of the teams 92 points.

“It’s a good feeling being back and knowing I can jump well,” McGee told The Easterner. “I know I can be a top contender in the long jump and triple jump, and it feels good to be back up top.”

McGee positioned himself in first place in the long jump with an outdoor personal best on his first attempt of the competition. Over his six jumps McGee posted the four longest jumps of his outdoor career, including three jumps farther than any contender. He also recorded the second best long jump distance in EWU history at 24-10 1/2 feet.

“I’ve been trying to be consistent and stay focused on what I need to do,” said McGee. “The whole season I haven’t been jumping my best, so I’ve been trying to work my way back up to what I need to jump.”

McGee said that he has been working to build his long jump distance from his mark in the championships to 26 or 27 feet.  

Sophomore Keshun McGee competes in the long jump at the Whitworth Buc Scoring Meet on March 17. At the Big Sky Championships on May 11, McGee won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump | Photo courtesy of EWU Athletics

In the triple jump, McGee took the lead on his fourth attempt, but was overtaken by senior Darius Armstead of Sacramento State University on the fifth attempt. McGee fouled on his last two attempts to remain in second place.

“My second to last jump [in the triple jump] wasn’t my best,” said McGee. “Then on my last jump I couldn’t get it together.”

McGee said that he was feeling pressure from his performance in the Big Sky Indoor Championships earlier in the season, where he finished sixth overall in the long jump and 12th in the triple jump — short of the expectations he had built from six individual titles over the indoor season.

“It was definitely there,” said McGee. “It wasn’t fear or anything; mainly motivation for me not to come out and do what I did before. People know I’m one of the top contenders in the long jump and triple jump, so they were expecting a lot from me and I was expecting a lot from myself.”

McGee’s second place finish in the triple jump was another outdoor best for the sophomore. His mark of 51-6 1/4 feet qualifies him for the West Regional Championships on May 24, where athletes ranked in the top 48 of their individual events are invited to compete. McGee is currently ranked No. 20 in the triple jump and No. 38 in the long jump – with final rankings released on May 17.

“Expect big things from me for sure,” McGee said.

The 2018 Outdoor West Regional Championships will be held in Sacramento, California.

The top 12 athletes in each individual event will qualify for the NCAA Championships, and McGee will undoubtedly need to set new personal records to make it to the highest stage.

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Keshun McGee jumps to top of Big Sky