Keturah Orji

Ali on the Run Show Episode 374: Keturah Orji, Triple Jump American Record Holder

“I noticed that there were young Black girls without role models in their communities. Because of lack of representation in our society, sometimes we don’t see people that look like us doing things that we want to do, so we think that we can’t do it. And that definitely applied to me.”

As U.S. Track & Field athletes across the country gear up for the Olympic Trials (June 18–27), triple jumper and long jumper Keturah Orji is feeling good. And rightfully so: Keturah, who was named the NCAA’s Collegiate Woman of the Decade, just took back the American Record in the triple jump (14.92m)! On this episode, the 2016 Olympian and five-time U.S. champion talks about what it takes to be at the top of the jumping game. (If you’re new to the triple jump and long jump, fear not: Keturah offers a “Jumping 101” halfway into the episode, breaking down what, exactly, these events entail, and what it takes to master them.) She talks about how she found jumping, what her goals are for this year’s Trials, and what it was like competing at the 2016 Games, where she finished fourth in the triple jump and missed making the podium by just three centimeters. Keturah currently trains at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in California, and when she’s not there, she’s working toward her master’s degree in accounting.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On setting the American Record in the triple jump (4:30)
  • What it was like competing at the 2016 Olympic Games, as a 20-year-old college sophomore (9:05)
  • Keturah’s race-day rituals (13:30)
  • All about Keturah’s childhood, and how she discovered running and jumping (14:30)
  • On the decision to go pro, and what it’s like training at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Center (21:35)
  • Are jumpers getting enough credit? (28:30)
  • Triple Jump & Long Jump 101, and what Keturah’s training looks like right now (32:20)
  • Keturah’s plans and goals for the Olympic Track & Field Trials (41:10)
  • On being a newlywed (47:30)
  • “I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams” (51:50)

What we mention on this episode:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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