DeLoach Soukup returns to long jump at Prefontaine Classic

May 31, 2014

Janay DeLoach Soukup2After a long layoff from major competition, Janay DeLoach Soukup of Fairbanks returned to the long jump this weekend at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.

That was the good news.

Forced to change her takeoff technique on the eve of her first jump, the 28-year-old Alaskan never found her rhythm and finished seventh in a powerful field that included some of the best women in the world.

DeLoach Soukup’s best jump – taking off her weaker foot, mind you – was just more than 21 feet, a far cry from when she’s 100 percent.

“Not bad for jumping off my right with 1 jump practice,” she said on Twitter. “Feels horrible getting last regardless of the situation. Even more #hungry.”

DeLoach Soukup, of Eielson High fame, is the reigning outdoor U.S. national champion in the long jump and was the 2012 world indoor silver medalist and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist.

She missed the indoor season because of an injury to her left foot suffered last summer, which might have been the reason she was forced to abandon her more traditional takeoff at the Prefontaine Classic.

Maybe she was never ready in the first place.

“Why can’t I see the future,” she tweeted later. “It would make life a whole lot easier.”