Local Olympic Spotlight: Franklin’s Jeff Porter Making Second Olympic Appearance for US Track & Field
Looking for a second chance in the Olympics, Somerset, New Jersey native Jeff Porter is hoping to medal in the hurdles in Rio.
Porter clinched his second Olympic team when he finished third in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 110m hurdles. He finished .01 seconds ahead of defending Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Aries Merritt, and behind Passaic native Ronnie Ash. He finished in the third and final spot in the 2012 Trials as well, by only .001 seconds, making him used to razor thin margins.
He finished in a disappointing fifth place in the semifinals in the London Olympics, and hasn’t done much better in many other major competitions after winning the 2007 NCAA indoor championships in the 60m hurdles. He only made on Diamond League podium, finishing in second, and only finished fifth in the 2011 U.S. championships.
Frankly, it’s unlikely that Porter will medal in Rio. A much more realistic goal would be for him to simply reach the finals, which is also unlikely. He is a talented runner, but he is much more suited to run in shorter distances than the 110 meters that he will have to run in Rio. Teammates Ash and Devon Allen are much more likely to medal. After barely edging his way into the Olympics, Porter should be simply happy to be there.
He graduated from Franklin High School in 2003 in Franklin, NJ, and then attended the University of Michigan. There, he majored in Sports Management/Communications, he then graduated in 2007. He married fellow Michigan hurdler Tiffany Porter in 2011, who competed in London under the British flag.