Some of the top young triple jump and javelin-throwing athletes in the country flocked to Sioux Falls over the weekend to work on improving their overall skill sets. The Sanford Sports Science Institute and the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation partnered together for the third year in a row to bring both a javelin throwing and triple jump clinic to the Sioux Empire.
One of the instructors at the clinic this year was United States Olympian Kenny Harrison. Harrison is most famous for winning the gold medal in the Triple Jump event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He said triple jump is unique because it requires a lot of traits to be successful.
"It takes a lot of power, a lot of grace. A lot of things that I’d say, other events don’t have the types of disciplines that are necessary," Harrison explained. "You have to be a power lifter; you have to be a sprinter. World-class sprinter, world-class power lifter, and world-class jumper, and then you have to coordinate all of that stuff, like a gymnast, into one clean swoop."
Harrison said it’s rewarding to work with kids and see how their hard work pays off.
Along with winning gold at the 1996 Olympic games in the Triple Jump event, Harrison’s jump itself was good enough for an Olympics record, which still stands to this day. It’s also the third best triple jump performance ever in recorded history.
Sanford Health and the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation have an agreement that will bring this clinic back to South Dakota for the next two more years.