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Shani Marks: America's Top Triple Jumper of 2008

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Shani Marks: America's Top Triple Jumper of 2008

Shani Marks

Michael Steele/Getty Images
The women’s triple jump field was competitive but few could’ve been surprised that Marks emerged victorious at the 2008 Olympic Trials with a 14.38-meter effort (47 feet, 2.14 inches), edging Shakeema Welsch (14.27). But Marks managed a best effort of just 13.44 (44-1.13) and didn't qualify for the Olympic final.

Mother knows best:

Marks competed as a gymnast before switching to track and field in high school at her mother’s suggestion. Marks didn’t take long to justify her mom’s opinion, winning the Minnesota high school long jump title as a senior with a leap of 19 feet, 1 inch.

Best in class:

Marks was a strong student at the University of Minnesota, earning academic All-American honors and earning a Master’s degree in kinesiology with a 4.0 grade point average. She was pretty good outside the classroom as well, finishing second in the triple jump in the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Career highlights:

Her 2008 Olympic Trials victory was Marks’ fifth U.S. championship. She previously won national outdoor titles in 2006-07 and earned U.S. indoor championships in 2005 and ’07.

The stats:

  • Height: 5-8
  • Weight: 149
  • Age: 27
  • Birth date: August 24, 1980
  • Hometown: Apple Valley, Minnesota
  • World Championships: None

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