Mia Culpepper, a senior track and field athlete at UWG, shatters the indoor triple jump record climbing her way to the tenth spot in Division II. Culpepper set a record breaking jump of 12.29m (40-4) at the USC indoor meet, just a few weeks before the Division II National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Track and Field championships.
“I was excited [to hear I was tenth nationally],” said Culpepper. “Once I heard them measure out my first jump I was saying let’s go, like let’s leave because I surpassed what I expected myself to do.”
Culpepper transferred from Georgia State University to UWG after her freshman year in 2021. She has set a few outdoor records during her time here, including the 100m and 4×1 relay. She ranks second for long jump in UWG track and field history. In addition to the 4×1, triple jump, and 100, she also participates in the 200, long jump and 4×4.
Culpepper has raised the bar for herself as she begins the outdoor season after a stellar indoor performance. It is hoped that her recent accomplishments will transfer over to outdoor, which can be a little more difficult with higher standards to qualify for nationals.
“[Making it to nationals] definitely gives me more drive to prosper in my outdoor season,” said Culpepper. “It pushes me because I know I have expectations for myself and I know where I can go.”
Track and field performances can vary, with some jumps or times being better than others, whether at a meet or during practice. Culpepper was able to stay consistent throughout the indoor season until she finally reached her record-breaking jump, exceeding her goals of just hitting 12m.
“We always knew I had a big jump in me, but every big jump I did it was a foul by like a toe,” said Culpepper. “I had to get back in the lab and work on tiny things like my approach.”
Culpepper follows a pre-event regimen that prepares her to perform to the best of her ability.
“[Before an event] I listen to my gospel music and say a prayer,” said Culpepper. “After I get my praise on, I listen to my hype music to get in game mode and to make sure I take my warm up seriously.”
“I work on practicing what I want to do in the race or in my jump,” Culpepper continued. “I visualize it, before I actually go in my jump I sit there and give it to God.”
Culpepper has many expectations and goals for the outdoor season, including qualifying for nationals in the triple jump and long jump, as well as breaking personal records in her other four events.
“I know I can do better than each performance that Idid the last time,” said Culpepper. “It gives me the encouragement to keep pushing further in my track career.”
Culpepper aims to run a personal best of 11.8 in the 100 meters and a high 24 or low 25 in the 200 meters. She also intends to break her personal record in the triple jump by jumping 12.70 and aiming for a long jump of around 18-7.
The track and field team will compete in their second outdoor meet on March 24 at Morehouse College. Culpepper, on the other hand, will be competing in her first outdoor meet of her senior season after returning from nationals. Only time will tell what newrecords will be set.