It was raining and the wind was blowing, hardly ideal conditions for a track and field meet let alone a record performance. But Janay DeLoach-Soukap of Fairbanks nabbed another record anyway.
The 27-year-old Olympic bronze medal-winning long jumper overcame the odds, the elements and a strong field to win the Adidas Grand Prix in New York City as part of the Diamond League with a meet record of 22 feet, 3 inches.
DeLoach-Soukap, a graduate of Fairbanks' Eielson High, had been in sixth place prior to her winning jump.
Then she went 22-3 in a headwind to defeat, among others, Brittney Reese, the defending Olympic gold medalist.
There appears to be a changing of the guard when it comes to the top American female long jumper, with DeLoach-Soukap taking the helm since her bronze medal.
Since then DeLoach-Soukap has beaten the world No. 1 in 12 of 22 meetings.
Van Williams, a 20-year local sports writer and the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News, writes about the athletic exploits of Alaskans for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.