It took some serious soul searching, but Elyria's Tianna Madison has opted not to compete at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Thursday-Sunday at Oregon's Hayward Field.
Madison had competed in six straight outdoor nationals dating back to 2004.
"I've competed in high-level meets like the Worlds and the Olympics Trials," Madison said. "That's how I knew I wasn't ready."
A pair of hamstring injuries forced Madison to miss the indoor nationals in late February. She's been back competing since April.
Madison's best jump of the season is 20 feet, 4½ inches on May 28 in Dakar. Her best 100-meter time is 11.29 on May 21 at Clermont, Fla.
Last year, it took a mark of 22-4¼ to finish third at nationals. Madison scratched the event after taking third earlier in the 100 meters (11.43).
"It's kind of a bummer, but in my experience and in this sport it's the Olympic medalist that matters. And for that I'll be ready," Madison said in an email.
Madison's career best jump is 22-7¼ at the 2005 International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, and made her a world champion.
"At the end of the day, only three can make the world championship team (for long jump)," said Madison, an Elyria High graduate. "My training's just not at that level I need to be that competitive. For right now, it's more important that I squeeze as much work out of the season. I didn't want to waste a season."
She plans to compete in a series of IAAF meets in Europe in July, primarily in Ireland, Morocco, Spain and Sweden.
The big picture for Madison remains making the U.S. Olympic team.
"I want them both even though long jump is the one I'm the most passionate about," Madison said. "It's been hard to get them both at a high level at the same time. I have to prove myself, even if I have to run myself into the ground."
Contact Paul Heyse at 329-7135 or email@example.com.