Grinnell places fifth in triple jump at nationals

Former Skyline High School multi-sport athlete and Boise State University standout Ryan Grinnell came away with fifth place in men’s triple jump finals Friday at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Sacramento State University.

Grinnell, who graduated from Skyline in 2005 and is an assistant track coach for Campbell University in Buies Creek, N.C., jumped 54 feet, 3 3/4 inches in his best of six attempts. He was in third place after the first flight, when he made his top leap.

Friday was his sixth consecutive appearance at the Outdoor Championships, and he was pleased with how he did considering he spent much of the spring rehabbing a hamstring injury from January. He competed a few times in April and May to prepare for this week’s championships.

“I’m just a little rusty,” Grinnell said in a phone interview with the Post Register. “I was in good shape and good form, just not really good competition shape. Overall, my execution was great. There’s definitely room to improve and grow. It’s an honor to qualify for the meet.”

Honoring his Boise State career, the 27 year-old wore orange socks and blue shoes Friday. He also clapped toward the crowd before heading down the runway for each attempt.

“In the competition it’s good to kinda stand out so they can clap and cheer you on,” Grinnell said with a laugh. “I’m a proud Bronco alum. The best combo is blue and orange.”

The top two spots in Friday’s finals went to Olympians. Will Claye, who won silver at London 2012, jumped a career-best 58-3 to win the national title. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor took second (57-0). Chris Benard of Chula Vista Elite rounded out the podium with a leap of 56-1 1/4 for third.

Grinnell, who placed third at last year’s outdoor championships and missed out on competing at the World Championships due to a technicality, said he is considering competing in Europe later this summer. Rio 2016 is still a long-term goal for him.

“As long as my body stays healthy,” Grinnell said of his intentions to continue competing. “It’s two years away, so a lot can happen.”