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AMES – Early in the outdoor season, Iowa State jumper Jhoanmy Luque set a new personal record for herself with a jump of 44 feet, 9 1/2 inches.

The jump was also the best in the nation.

Recently, Luque’s jump was bested by the defending national champion Keturah Orji. Georgia’s Orji jumped an astonishing 47-0 1/4.

This weekend at the Drake Relays, Luque will participate in the triple jump for the first time since her record-setting jump.

“This year, we have nice weather and I’m really excited about that,” Luque said. “My previous year and the year before that, it was terrible. I was really hoping this year would be better so I could get a good mark and give a good performance. Last year it was raining and cold and it was bad. I usually jump really well at Drake and the atmosphere and having a lot of people is a lot of fun.”

The atmosphere at the Relays is something unique in collegiate track. Most track meets have a hard time getting 500 people to attend.

Thousands of people will attend the Relays.

Luque believes it makes athletes compete their best.

“It’s a great sensation because you have that desire to compete and hit a great jump because the stadium will go crazy,” Luque said.

She knows that feeling well. She’s competed at the World Championships and three times the NCAA Championships.

“My first time at World’s I was so nervous, but throughout the years, I’ve gotten more used to it,” Luque said. “I’ve been to NCAAs three years in a row, so I’ve gotten used to having a lot of people in the stadium."

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