NASHVILLE — The exuberance from R’Lazon Brumfield was jumping through his skin when he learned the 2019 NCAA East Track and Field Preliminary Round was held in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla.
“When I found out it was in Jacksonville, I had to go,” Brumfield said. “I got to go. This is my time. There’s no better place.”
Thursday was the right time for Brumfield after his long jump mark of 7.59m (24-11) in the NCAA East prelims leaped further than his excitement as the sophomore qualified for Nationals. The 2019 Track and Field National Championship will be held in Austin, Texas from June 5-9.
“I was shocked,” said Brumfield, who was traveling with TSU Track and Field Director Chandra Cheeseborough and Assistant Jump Coach David Rachel. “I thought my first jump was weak, but my second jump was better. When I was watching the other guys, I was like, ‘man, they jumping, man they jumping. All in good sportsmanship, though. Whatever happens, happens. I was enjoying myself. Then, they told me I made it and I was just shocked.’”
Brumfield wasn’t shy about complimenting the competition. The qualifying jump by Brumfield placed him 11 out of 12. The lead long jump of the day was delivered by JuVaughn Harrison of Louisiana State University with a mark of 7.97m (26-1¾ ).
Jacksonville is not only the hometown of Brumfield but also the stomping ground of Cheeseborough, a former Olympic Gold Medalist, five-time Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Indoor Coach of the Year and four-time Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Outdoor Coach of the Year.
“We are so excited,” said Cheeseborough. “It’s an honor and a blessing to have someone from Jacksonville follow me in my footsteps and leave a legacy trail. We’re so excited for him. We knew R’Lazon had great potential and we’re just waiting until he catches up and realizes.”
Over the course of his two years competing for Tennessee State, Brumfield has garnered ten major achievements: OVC Freshman of the Year 2018, OVC Indoor Co-Field Athlete of the Year 2018 and 2019, OVC Indoor Championship MVP 2019, OVC Long Jump Indoor Champion 2018 and 2019, OVC Triple Jump Indoor Champion 2018 and 2019, TSU’s 2018-19 Male Athlete of the Year and finally the OVC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year 2019.
Brumfield is not done with the preliminaries just yet. He will compete in the triple jump on Saturday, his best event.
“I’ll try to repeat what I did today or better,” Brumfield said. “I have to keep my head up and stay humble.”