UA jumper Hibbert will turn pro

Jaydon Hibbert, shown at the 2023 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, set two collegiate records and won the Bowerman as a freshman at Arkansas. (Hank Layton/NWA Democrat-Gazette)
Jaydon Hibbert, shown at the 2023 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, set two collegiate records and won the Bowerman as a freshman at Arkansas. (Hank Layton/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Jaydon Hibbert, who as a University of Arkansas freshman last year swept NCAA and SEC indoor and outdoor titles in the triple jump while setting two collegiate records, announced Thursday night he has signed a professional contract.

By signing as a professional, Hibbert is skipping his final three years of collegiate eligibility and no longer will compete for the Razorbacks. 

Hibbert, who is from Kingston, Jamaica, didn’t say in his social media post which company he signed with professionally.

In December, Hibbert won The Bowerman as the top men’s men’s collegiate track and field athlete for the 2023 season.

Hibbert, pictured with an Arkansas letter jacket in his social media post, thanked the UA “for this incredible journey” in transitioning to a pro career with the lessons he has learned as a Razorback.

“You have been more than just a school to me, You’ve been a family!” Hibbert wrote. ”To all my coaches, teammates and professors, you’ve shaped me into the athlete and person I am today! You’ve instilled in me the RAZORBACK spirit which I’ll carry with me on my professional journey!”

Hibbert turned 19 on Jan. 17. He won the NCAA Indoor title last March with a leap of 57-6 1/2 to break the collegiate record of 57-5 set by Charlie Simpkins of Charleston Southern in 1986.

At the SEC Outdoor Championships, Hibbert went 58-7 1/2, breaking the mark of 57-7 3/4 by SMU’s Keith Connor at the 1982 NCAA meet. Hibbert won the NCAA Outdoor title last June by going 57-7 1/2.

At the World Championships last summer in Budapest, Hungary, Hibbert looked ready to win the gold medal. He had the top mark in the qualifying round at 58-1, but on his first attempt in the final, Hibbert suffered a right hamstring injury and had to drop out of the competition. Qualifying marks in the first round don’t carry over to the final.

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