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Personal bests set by John in finals

by Staff Report | June 12, 2022 at 2:10 a.m.
Safiya John

Safiya John had already made history as the first athlete from a historically Black college/university to compete in the NCAA heptathlon finals in Eugene, Ore.

On Saturday, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff athlete left the University of Oregon's Hayward Field with a personal best and a 10th-place national finish.

John scored 5,626 points after earning top-eight finishes in four of the seven events. She set personal records in all four Friday events, running 13.60 seconds to secure eighth place in the 100-meter hurdles, clearing 1.75 meters (5 feet, 8¾ inches) in the high jump to take fifth place, firing a 12.22-meter (40 feet, 1¼ inches) throw in the shot put for eighth and running 25.15 seconds in the 200 meters for 12th.

"I didn't expect to PR in all four events today, which I am super thankful for," John said in a news release. "It's great competition and great energy in Eugene, which propelled me to do so well on day one."

John earned her fourth top-eight finish Saturday with a 5.97-meter long jump (19 feet, 7 inches). She hung on for 10th place out of 24 athletes overall (one did not start) after a 32.39-meter javelin throw (106 feet, 3 inches) and 2-minute, 24.55-second 800-meter run that was shown on ESPN.

John had scored 5,602 points in winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference heptathlon last month. That was enough to earn her an automatic berth in the national finals and allowed her to sit out the NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville due to a minor back issue.

She graduated from UAPB last month but has one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.

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