Reality has yet to set in for the NCAA women’s long jump champion, Whitney Gipson.
“This weekend was crazy,” she said. “I’m still not over it yet.”
When Gipson jumped 22-8 feet to bring home the gold medal, she shattered the records for TCU, the Mountain West and the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Now having the national title, Gipson’s next step in mind is to be at the top of international competition.
Currently No. 3 in the world, Gipson is preparing for the Olympic trials that take place in June.
If she makes top three in long jump, she will be representing the United States in the 2012 London Olympics.
“Making that team, would be huge for me,” she said.
Running track since she was a seventh grader in North Richland Hills, Gipson said she never thought she would be at the level she is now.
Track & field head coach Darryl Anderson said Gipson’s transformation from when she was a freshman to where she is now is outstanding.
“She started here as a 19 foot jumper from Birdville High School and now she’s the collegiate record holder in the long jump,” he said. “The records can be broken and they will eventually, but no one can ever take the NCAA Championship away from her.”
Anderson said Gipson’s achievements will continue even when she is no longer a student.
“She’s a person that’s going to leave this program hitting the highest level of performance you can possibly have,” Anderson said.
Through the support from her coaches and family, Gipson said she has been able to remain humble about her achievements.
“I like the recognition, but it’s just so weird for people congratulating me on this stuff,” she said. “It’s just an amazing honor.”
Gipson credits her mother, Willa Gipson, as being one of the key factors of her success.
Her mother said she was happy to see Whitney living out her dreams.
“I feel incredibly honored for her to be my daughter because I’ve watched her really work very hard and stay focused,” she said.
With the outdoor season beginning today, Gipson said she is hoping to break yet another collegiate record in the near future.
“I hope to take us to nationals in the 4X1 relay because we have the talent to do that,” Gipson said.
Although her achievements have been widely recognized, Gipson said she is not going to let that get in the way of her future aspirations.
“[I] don’t let anything distract me. [I] don’t get content with anything I’ve done,” she said. “Just keep on, keeping on.”