Suzette Lee

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Suzette Lee
Medal record
Athletics
Representing  Jamaica
CAC Junior Championships (U20)
Gold medal – first place 1994 Port of Spain Triple jump
Silver medal – second place 1994 Port of Spain Long jump
CAC Junior Championships (U17)
Gold medal – first place 1990 Havana 4x100 m relay
CARIFTA Games
Junior (U20)
Gold medal – first place 1992 Nassau 4x400m relay
Bronze medal – third place 1992 Nassau Long Jump
CARIFTA Games
Youth (U17)
Gold medal – first place 1991 Port of Spain Long Jump
Gold medal – first place 1990 Kingston Long Jump

Suzette Lee (born 6 March 1975 in Houston, Texas) is a Jamaican triple jumper.

Career[edit]

Her personal best jump is 14.16 metres, achieved in April 2005 in Baton Rouge. She has a better indoor mark with 14.25 metres, achieved in March 1997 in Indianapolis.[1]

Lee ran track in college at Louisiana State University.

In her two-year collegiate career, Lee won three NCAA triple jump titles, and was the most decorated jumper in the history of the LSU Track & Field program.

Lee was also a catalyst of four national championship teams as the Lady Tigers won the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor team titles in 1996 and 1997.

The Lady Tigers won an unprecedented 11-straight outdoor championships from 1987 to 1997.

On March 9, 1996, in her first NCAA Championships appearance with the Lady Tigers, she was the favorite to win the triple jump as the event's national champion at the RCA Dome in Indiana. Only one round of jumps separated Lee from her first career national title as she held a comfortable lead with the eight finalists preparing for the sixth and final round.

Lee's top mark of 44 feet, 8 inches in the fourth round was seven and a half inches clear of equal jumps of 44-0 ½ set by Georgia's Icolyn Kelly and Nebraska's Nicola Martial earlier in the competition.

Martial handed Lee her only defeat in the triple jump in two years at the NCAA Championships. After Martial's final attempt was measured, she finished just one centimeter clear of Lee in the final standings with her winning mark of 44-8 ¼.

"Losing by a quarter of an inch, that was the worst," Lee remembered. "That was my only loss at NCAAs and is one of the things I remember most about my time at LSU. And it really wasn't long after I got to LSU just a couple months before in January of that year. I think (Nicola Martial) was from Grenada in the Caribbean, so we sort of had a connection there too."

The Lady Tigers won the team title with a 52-34 victory over Georgia at the 1996 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships. Texas finished well back in third place overall with 31 points, while Florida and Nebraska finished at a tie for fourth place in the team race with 28 points apiece.

It was the first of four NCAA team championships that Lee would win in her two seasons as a Lady Tiger as LSU swept NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor crowns in 1996 and 1997.

At the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, she won her first career NCAA triple jump title with a winning mark of 45-1 at Hayward Field.

As a senior in 1997, Lee won her first NCAA Indoor triple jump championship as she set the indoor collegiate record of 46-9 that still stands. She was an NCAA Indoor runner-up finish in her secondary event - the long jump - en route to scoring 18 points for the meet.

"When I came to LSU, everyone here was so good at what they did that I thought you just had to win. It is what's expected of you," Lee said. "And I didn't expect anything less of myself. I worked even harder than maybe other people because I wanted to be just like those great athletes that were there before me. If my teammates around me were doing so well, I wanted to elevate myself to that next level with them."

At j10 years old, Lee won a long jump event held as part of an athletics day at her primary school that served as an introduction to the sport of track and field.

"I really started jumping by accident," Lee recalls. "They built this big sand pit and told all of the students to run and jump in it to see how far we could jump. I ended up winning it. I even remember exactly what I jumped. I jumped like 16 feet, 9 inches. So, they ended up sending me to a prep school championship and did well there and then on into my high school years."

During her sophomore season at St. Jago High School in 1991, the Jamaican capital of Kingston played host to the Pan American Junior Championships featuring the top youth athletes from the Americas and the Caribbean.

"None of us had ever done it or knew what it was," Lee said about the triple jump. "The coach took about five of us to the track the day of the competition to see who could hop, step and jump into the pit. I think I was the only one who made it, so I was did the triple jump at the Pan American Games that year and even won the bronze medal. That's how I started doing the triple jump."

Following a two-year stint at Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, Lee signed with LSU after seeing former LSU jumps coach Dan Pfaff in action at the 1995 Texas Relays. Lee was later coached at LSU by Boo Schexnayder after he replaced Pfaff in 1996.

"I first met Dan Pfaff at the Texas Relays," Lee said. "The LSU girls were having a horrible meet that day and he sat there and just chewed them out. I was with two other Barton girls watching all of it and just fell in love with LSU right then just because of how hard he was on them and how they responded to him.

"I was like, 'That's where I'm going.' My teammates were like, 'Are you crazy? Don't you see how crazy their coach is?' But I said, 'I love it. That's where I'm going.'"

After wrapping up her athletics career competing for Jamaica at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and the World Championships in Athens, Greece, in 1997 and Seville, Spain, in 1999, Lee has gone on a career as a personal trainer and physical therapy assistant in Houston, Texas.

She is married to former Tiger jumper and relay runner Mike Alridge, who was a five-time All-American during his collegiate career from 1996 to 1998. He was a member the squad that set the 4x100-meter relay school record of 38.24 seconds in an NCAA runner-up finish in 1998.

They are the parents of their son, Jaise.

"LSU is really just like a family to me," Lee said. "LSU has a great alumni base here in Houston. Most of my clients are actually LSU graduates. So, you never stop being an LSU Tiger. It's your family for life. It is one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself. LSU Track & Field is very special to me, and since I found out I would be getting inducted, it's really been like a dream. I'm very grateful."

Achievements[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Jamaica
1990 CARIFTA Games (U-17) Kingston, Jamaica 1st Long jump 5.80 m
Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-17) Havana, Cuba 7th Long jump 4.83 m   (0.5 m/s)
1st 4 × 100 m relay 46.66
1991 CARIFTA Games (U-17) Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 1st Long jump 5.99 m
1992 CARIFTA Games (U-20) Nassau, Bahamas 4th 400m hurdles 64.86
3rd Long jump 5.97 m
1st 4 × 400 m relay 3:40.74
World Junior Championships Seoul, Korea 7th Triple jump 12.83 m (wind: +0.4 m/s)
1993 Central American and Caribbean Games Ponce, Puerto Rico 3rd Long jump 5.53 m
3rd Triple jump[2] 12.40 m
1994 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships (U-20) Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 2nd Long jump 5.88 m
1st Triple jump 13.26 m
World Junior Championships Lisbon, Portugal 4th Triple jump 13.41 m (wind: +1.7 m/s)
1995 Central American and Caribbean Championships Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala 3rd Triple jump 13.67 m A
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 20th (q) Triple jump 13.65 m   (1.0 m/s)
1997 World Championships Athens, Greece 20th (q) Triple jump 13.83 m   (0.3 m/s)
1998 Central American and Caribbean Games Maracaibo, Venezuela 2nd Triple jump[2] 13.77 m
1999 Pan American Games Winnipeg, Canada 2nd Triple jump 14.09 m
2001 Central American and Caribbean Championships Guatemala City, Guatemala 2nd Triple jump 13.75 m A
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, United Kingdom 4th Triple jump[3] 13.54 m   (-0.6 m/s)
2003 Central American and Caribbean Championships St. George's, Grenada 1st Triple jump 13.89 m (w)
Pan American Games Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 4th Triple jump 13.83 m   (0.7 m/s)
World Championships Paris, France 27th (q) Triple jump 13.43 m   (1.3 m/s)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Commonwealth All-Time Lists (Women) - GBR Athletics
  2. ^ a b Central American and Caribbean Games (Women) - GBR Athletics
  3. ^ 2002 Commonwealth Games, women's athletics results - Sporting Heroes
  4. ^ IOP/AFP/Getty Images (29 Jul 1996), ATLANTA, GA - JULY 29: Suzette Lee of Jamaica takes off in the women's Olympic triple jump event 29 July at the Olympic Stadium. Lee did not qualify for the next round, AFP/Getty Images, retrieved 27 March 2012