Former Cahokia High School and SIUE track and field standout La’Derrick Ward is now a national champion.
Competing in the USA Track and Field Indoors National Championships on Saturday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the 23-year-old won the title in the long jump with a leap of 26 feet, 3/4 inches.
Ward, a 2015 SIUE graduate, made his winning leap on his first attempt at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Competing as an unattached athlete, Ward’s jump was eight inches longer than runner-up Brandon James, who had a leap of 25 feet, 4.75 inches.
Ward was a six-time all-state athlete at Cahokia High School where he graduated in 2011. Ward went on to become a four-time all-American and a four-time Ohio Valley Conference champion at SIUE. Three of Ward’s titles came in the long jump with the other coming in the triple jump.
Ward is also the second member of his family to win a national championship. Younger brother Ja’Mari Ward won the USATF Junior National Championship in the long jump last summer. Ja’Mari Ward is now a freshman at the University of Missouri.