Mississippi Gulf Coast alum Brittney Reese came a fraction of an inch short in her quest for history, but picked up her second Olympic medal Wednesday night in Rio de Janeiro.
Reese jumped 7.15 meters (23 feet, 5.5 inches) on her last of six jumps, winning silver behind fellow American Tianna Bartoletta. Bartoletta won gold by 2 centimeters, or three-quarters of an inch.
"I'm not disappointed at all," Reese said. "I've been through a lot these past two years emotionally, and physically battling back from surgery. Today I kind of got off to a slow start and it cost me at the end but I am really pleased to be on the stand again and represent the United States."
No woman has ever won back-to-back long jumps, but the MGCCC Athletics Hall of Famer came so close in her third Olympics. She won gold in London in 2012.
Reese also has six world championships on her resume. She rebounded from a hip labrum injury that had her contemplating retirement.
On Wednesday, she was the first competitor to go past 7 meters.
"I feel like when I jumped the seven meters that woke everybody up," Reese said. "She's [Tianna Bartoletta] a sprinter, so she ran down there and jumped and she got it. So you can't be mad about that, she just out jumped me for it. I'm going home with a silver and I can't be more proud."
Reese played basketball at Gulf Coast, graduating in 2006. She went on to be an NCAA champion at Ole Miss and has won six world championships.
"I am really grateful," she said. "I am still battling back spasms, on and off throughout the season still from the surgery. Just for me to be here and still going home with something and able to stand on the podium, and I still get to see the flag go up because Tianna won, so we'll be good."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCAthletics on Twitter and BulldogLIVE on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.