FORT WORTH - TCU's Whitney Gipson is a rising star in track and field. Her leaping ability in the long jump is what sets her apart.
She's a natural athlete, and chose track and field over basketball and volleyball. She's also a local product, from North Richland Hills.
"She was constantly doing something as the year progressed, so we felt like if you get her to do one sport and you take that sport and you do it nine-to-ten months out of the year, you might have something," said TCU Track and Field Coach Darryl Anderson.
Earlier this month, she won the gold medal in the women's long jump at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a jump of 22'8". It matched the NCAA record and tied the best jump in the world this year.
She became the first woman from TCU to win an individual NCAA championship.
"Once I saw the jump on the board, I was very excited," Gipson said. "I was like, 'Wow!' It felt like a dream come true. It took like a week for me to take it all in. It's just an amazing feeling."
Gipson also runs for the 4x100 relay team, but the long jump is her specialty. Her recent performance may have opened the door for a shot at the Olympic team.
"I've never seen that not make the Olympic team, if you do it at the Olympic trials," Anderson said. "If she jumped that far at the Olympic Games, she's going to have a great opportunity to medal."
But there are a few steps before that leap.
"That's a huge goal, and I am working hard," Gipson said. "First, I have to get through the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships and the NCAA's. The Olympics is my goal, but I need to work on finishing college."
While track and field and the Olympics are her focus right now, her long-term goal includes another interesting career - sports broadcasting.
She has the personality, now she needs the experience.
"Honestly, when I was little, I wanted to have a job with something in sports," Gipson said. "I wanted to be a sideline reporter. Yeah, that's something I really want to do."