By Cheryl Conway
Local officials are planning a celebration to congratulate Olympian Christina Epps who recently competed in the triple jump in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games held Aug. 5-21.
The 25-year old Morristown native finished 15th out of 37 other competitors from around the world. She had jumped 14.01 meters, which was just short of qualifying on Sat., Aug. 13, for the final round. The top three finalists are World Champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia (15.17m), Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela (14.98m) and Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan (14.74m). Mt. Olive’s Ketorah Orji of United States registered a 14.71 mark finishing in fourth place.
Councilwoman Hiliari B. Davis was working with Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty about organizing a local celebration to congratulate Epps’ accomplishment of competing in the Olympic Games. Plans were not finalized as of press time.
“She should be home soon and we will coordinate a celebration,” said Davis. “I think it goes without saying that when a local athlete makes the most powerful track team in the world and is invited to represent her country in the Olympics it is absolutely worth celebrating.”
The Morristown community also helped to raise money online to offset travel costs for Epp’s mother, Beverly Epps-Blackwell, and stepfather, Kevin Blackwell, to travel to Rio to attend the games.
From the Go Fund Me Page, 175 people had contributed $9,434 in 25 days, providing financial support for her most proud supporters to cheer her on in person.
Epps graduated Morristown High School in 2009 and then attended Coppin State University in Baltimore, Md., majoring in psychology with a degree in 2013, and starring in track and field and volleyball.
Before entering the Olympics, Epps also competed in the Triple Jump in the 2015 Pan American Games, finishing seventh place; and 2016 World Championships, finishing in tenth place.
Epps works as an academic advisor for Coppin State University athletics.