July 12, 2016
Simone Charley has one more stop to make on this summer’s triple-jumping tour. And for this journey, she’ll need a passport.
The Vanderbilt All-American, who last week competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., is headed for San Salvador, El Salvador to represent the USA at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Under-23 Championships, which run July 15-17. (Charley competes on the 16th).
Charley is the top-ranked triple jumper in the field, and will be battling against competitors from the Bahamas, Jamaica and El Salvador. (Full list HERE).
“Just having the opportunity to chase some of the dreams that I’ve had since I was a little girl is just — wow, it’s hard to believe,” said Charley, a four-time First Team All-American. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself, and say, this is really happening. … The (USA) gear came in the mail last week, and when I was trying it on, I was just like, oh my gosh, this is real.”
The event in El Salvador will complete an intense and hectic two-month stretch for Charley. Over the past eight weeks, she has competed in the SEC Championships, the NCAA Regionals, the NCAA Championships and the Olympic Trials.
Now, the All-American is ready to carry the banner for America in an international event.
“She’s excited to be representing the USA,” said associate head coach Clark Humphreys, “and we are super proud of her and how she represents Vanderbilt.”
Charley endured an emotional setback at the Olympic Trials, where she was narrowly missed qualifying for the finals. (Full recap HERE). But Charley rarely lets one event effect the next.
“When the pressure is on, Simone rises up,” said Humpreys.
Humphreys noted that Charley will have plenty of familiar company in El Salvador, where she’ll join a U.S. roster that is dotted with SEC representatives.
“It’s kind of like a Who’s Who of the SEC,” said Humphreys. “It really says a lot about the SEC to see that many names on the list.”
CHARLEY’S CAREER TO DATE:
2016 Outdoor: First Team All-American; finished second at the NCAA Championships
2016 Indoor: First Team All-American; finished second at the NCAA Championships
2015 Outdoor: First Team All-American; finished third at NCAA Championships
2015 Indoor: First-Team All-American; finished fourth at NCAA Championships
2014 Outdoor: Second Team All-American; finished ninth at the NCAA Championships