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Long leap helps Texas' Tara Davis secure an NCAA championship and record

Texas junior Tara Davis set a collegiate record in the indoor long jump in Fayetteville, Ark., on March 12, 2021.

After three long years, Texas junior Tara Davis has returned to the medal stand.

Davis won a national championship in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday. Competing in Fayetteville, Ark., Davis also broke the NCAA's nine-year-old record for the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, nine inches.

Davis became the first woman from Texas to win an indoor championship since the Longhorns took home three titles in 2016. She joins Marshevet Hooker (2006) and Carlette Guidry (1988) as UT's indoor champions in the long jump.

On Friday, Davis tied Hooker's school record of 22 feet, 0.25 inches on her second jump. That jump was enough to win gold since Florida's Claire Bryant finished second at 21 feet, 11.75 inches. But on her third jump, Davis edged a record mark of 22 feet, eight inches that TCU's Whitney Gipson had established in 2012.

With the win, Davis added to her medal count in the long jump. At the NCAA's indoor meet in 2018, Davis won a bronze medal in that event while competing at Georgia.

Davis, though, was forced to sit out the indoor and outdoor track seasons in 2019 after she transferred to Texas. Due to injuries and the coronavirus pandemic, she competed only once in 2020.

"I miss competing a lot," Davis told the American-Statesman this past summer. "I’m a different person without competition and I need that person back."