ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Jalani Davis came to Ole Miss as a walk-on four years ago and was immediately cast into the shadow of training partners who were among the best in the history of the sport. On Friday night, Davis fully broke free as a star on her own, winning her first national championship to lead a stupendous first day of action for Ole Miss track & field at the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Davis – a senior native of Hampton, Virginia – concluded a wire-to-wire indoor season as the NCAA’s best in the weight throw, winning the national title on Friday at her third-round toss of 24.51m/80-5 – making her the No. 4 performer in the history of the national meet with the sixth-best throw.
The win was even more sweet for Davis, who has grinded for a full year after fouling out of both the weight throw and shot put at last year’s indoor national meet.
“(Winning) feels amazing,” Davis said. “On my last throw I started crying, it’s just a relief to get it done. What it takes to be here and what it takes to do what I did in the meet, it paid off. It feels great.”
This is the 11th indoor national title in Ole Miss history, and it makes Davis the 14th overall NCAA Indoor Champion. It also puts her into elite company as just the fourth Rebel woman to ever do so indoors alongside Olympian Brittney Reese in the long jump in 2008, Olympian Raven Saunders in the shot put in 2017, and teammate Shey Taiwo in the weight throw just last year in 2022.
Combined with Taiwo’s win, Ole Miss is now just the sixth school in NCAA history to repeat as the women’s weight throw champion, joining Louisville in 2009-10, the Connie Price-Smith led Southern Illinois Salukis in 2007-08, Florida four years in a row from 2002-05, SMU in 2000-01 and South Carolina for the first three years of the collegiate women’s weight throw from 1996-98.
Davis’ win caps off an extraordinary 2023 indoor campaign in the weight throw, during which she became the No. 5 performer in collegiate history and No. 12 in world history at her career-best 24.63m/80-09.75 from the SEC Championships two weeks ago. At the conference meet, Davis became the first woman in world history to break 80 feet in the weight throw and 60 feet in the shot put, which is also coming up for Davis on Saturday as she completes her weight/shot…
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