Former UAA long jumper 'disappointed' with Commonwealth Games showing

Megan Edge
KEVIN CLARK /The (Eugene) Register-Guard

Anchorage long jumper David Registe had three chances in the final round of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, to leap closer to a medal. But Wednesday morning, the former Division II All-American's disappointing showing left him far off the podium.

The 26-year-old former UAA athlete's best jump of the day was 7.52 meters (24 feet, 8.25 inches), which landed him 10th among 12 finalists. The mark was far off Registe's personal best of 7.89 meters (25-10.75).

England's Gregory Rutherford won the gold medal -- the former Olympian jumped 8.20 meters (26-11). South Africa athletes, Zarck Visser (8.12 meters-26-7.75) and Rushwahl Samaai (8.08-26-6.25) snagged silver and bronze medals, respectively.

"The place I took today isn't what mattered to me," said Registe. "It was all about how I did compared to my personal best and I didn't do well." Five years ago at a California meet, Registe jumped 7.89 meters (25-10.75), a mark he tied in 2011.

"No, today was not my best," Registe said by email hours after the competition. "I planted my takeoff leg too far in front of my body, causing my momentum to slow down." He later called the problem an "easy-fix problem."

Registe's best jump in the finals came on the first of this three attempts. He went 6.84 meters (22-5.25) on his second attempt and 7.48 meters (24-6.50) on his final leap. Registe qualified for the finals with his Tuesday qualifying-round leap of 7.70 meters (25-3.25).

Registe competed for the country of Dominica. The U.S.-born long jumper has dual citizenship with the Caribbean Island nation; his parents moved to Alaska from Dominica in the 1976. He competed for UAA from 2007 until 2011, when he graduated, and in that time racked up one national title and several conference titles.

"I'm not the kind of person to turn down opportunities to share my talent with the world," said Registe, who trains six days a week at the Alaska Dome in Anchorage. "I have a ton of fun competing in front of thousands of people. There are so many people in the world that want to do what I do but don't have the ability, so I look at competing as my sharing the gift God gave me with everyone."

The Commonwealth Games, once known as the British Empire Games, are a multi-sport event much like the Olympics. Athletes from Commonwealth nations, many of them former British territories, gather for the third-largest international sporting event behind the Olympics and the Asian Games.

And although Registe's experience at the Commonwealth Games was "awesome," he said he wouldn't exactly describe it as "the dream." Registe said "the dream" is becoming an Olympian. The likely minimum standard to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil is 8.10 meters (26-7), and that distance generally must be met in an 18-month period prior to the Games.

"Commonwealth showed me how much competition is in the world," Registe said.

Reach Megan Edge at megan@alaskadispatch.com