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Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Andrea Di Trani

Nadia Eke Takes 8th At NCAA Championships To Earn USTFCCCA First-Team All-America Honors

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 06/09/2012
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NCAA Championships Final Results: Men | Women
**ON THE PHONE INTERVIEW WITH NADIA EKE (Click Picture)**

DES MOINES, Iowa – Columbia’s Nadia Eke capped her breakout rookie season in with an exclamation point on Saturday at the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium. Eke cleared 13.22m in the women’s triple jump finals to take eighth place and earn USTFCCCA First-Team All-America honors.

Eke’s second jump of 13.13m (43’1”) ranked sixth at that point. She found the strength to go a little further in her third jump of 13.22m (43’4”), a mark that was good for eighth place at the end of the finals. Saturday’s finals also marked the first time that Eke has cleared 13m twice in one round.

"Coming into the competition, I knew that these girls were jumping at an Olympic level, so I had to bring it today and I had to bring my all," Eke said. "When I started, for my first jump I was hoping to get at least above a 42-foot jump to get me into the motion of things. I got that and it helped me get the nerves out of the way and do what I had to do. In my second jump, I felt a little better. Then in my third jump, I just had to go all out. So I did, and it worked out."

As a first-year, Eke has quickly established herself as one of the top triple jumpers in the nation. At the NCAA East Prelims, she set a Columbia record on her first jump, clearing 13.32m (43’8.5”). That leap smashed the previous school record of 12.81m she set in early April at the Princeton Sam Howell Invitational. She was also the 2012 Ivy League champion in the indoor and outdoor triple jumps and the Ivy League runner-up in the outdoor long jump.

”Nadia tops off what was already an amazing year in terms of what she’s accomplished, not only in the Ivy League, but nationally,” Columbia Track & Field Associate Head Coach Gavin O'Neal said. “She continues to set records. We could not have asked more from her in her opening year. All-around, she did an amazing job.”

Eke has qualified to compete in the 14h IAAF Wold Junior Championships, which will be held from July 10-15 in Barcelona, Spain. She has qualified to represent Ghana. Eke’s 13.32m triple jump currently ranks eighth in the world among junior marks.

”I could not be more proud of Nadia,” Columbia Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Willy Wood said. “Earning All-American honors and scoring at the national meet is an incredible accomplishment for a first-year. Her performance today was a fitting end to our entire program’s 2011-12 season.”

Senior Kyle Merber (men’s 1,500m) and sophomore Harry McFann (men’s 800m) also concluded their outstanding 2011-12 seasons at the NCAA Championships and both have earned USTFCCCA Honorable Mention All-America recognition.

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