With dusk temperatures still in the 90s, 24 of the best collegiate high jumpers squared off on the griddle-hot jump apron. Among them was JuVaughn Harrison who two days earlier had prevailed in a tight long jump battle. Even before this competition got underway, the LSU soph sensed this could be a special day. “I knew early on during the warmups that it was going to be a very good meet,” said the SEC champ.
16 remained alive as the bar went up to 7-3 (2.21), led by clean-card performers Harrison and Keenon Laine of Georgia. When it was raised to 7-4¼ (2.24) Harrison and Laine—still jumping without a miss—were joined only by defending champ Tejaswin Shankar of Kansas State, Alabama’s Shelby McEwen and Southern Mississippi’s Eric Richards. All 5 were still in play at 7-5¼ (2.27), but the only clearances made were by Harrison—with his sixth consecutive first-attempt clearance—and the favored Shankar on his second attempt. When neither could clear 7-6½ (2.30), Harrison had a unique jump double, with Shankar 2nd and McEwen 3rd.
“It was a great competition. I was able to go out and clear all the bars,” declared the composed victor afterwards. “I was upset that I was unable to clear the final bar because that was my goal. But I am very happy that I was able to come out a winner.”
For the new champion, the jump double took on special meaning in light of his performance at last year’s meet. He explained, “It was very significant to me because last year I went out early in both events and then to finish 2nd indoors [in the HJ] and to not make it to finals indoors in the long jump was a great disappointment.”
Those earlier field event experiences inspired Harrison to reshape his competitive approach. “Go out there and just have fun and just jump the way I’m supposed to jump and don’t worry about anybody else,” explained the winner with a smile. “And that’s what I wanted to go out there and do today. And I am very happy they let me do that.”
He readily admits he likes the high jump more but believes he currently is better in the long jump, so competing in both has long been in his plans. “I’ve always said I was going to do high and long jumps when I came to college,” he said. “And my school was able to let me do that.” He knows he will face stiffer competition in the years ahead and one day may have to choose between the two events he loves. “I’ve thought about it,” he admitted. “But my goal is to be great in both and to not have to choose.” In this championship, JuVaughn Harrison undoubtedly was.
NCAA MEN’S HIGH JUMP RESULTS
1. **JuVaughn Harrison (LSU) 7-5¼ (2.27);
2. **Tejaswin Shankar’ (KsSt) 7-5¼;
3. *Shelby McEwen (Al) 7-4¼ (2.24);
4. Keenon Laine (Ga) 7-4¼;
5. *Eric Richards (SnMs) 7-4¼;
6. ***Sean Lee (UCLA) 7-3 (2.21);
=7. *Darius Carbin (Ga) 7-3;
=7. **Frank Harris (SnUt) 7-3;
=9. *Cody Stine (OhSt) 7-1¾ (2.18);
=9. Jhonny Victor (Fl) 7-1¾;
=9. ***Roberto Vilches’ (Mo) 7-1¾;
=12. ***Mayson Conner (Nb) 7-1¾;
=12. **Earnie Sears (USC) 7-1¾;
=12. *Justice Summerset (Az) 7-1¾;
15. **Rahman Minor (Ky) 7-1¾;
16. *Brenton Foster’ (Va) 7-1¾;
=17. *Zack Anderson (SD) 7-½ (2.15);
=17. Jyles Etienne’ (In) 7-½;
19. **Mitch Jacobson (WaSt) 7-½;
=20. **Jake Benninghoff (TxT) 6-10¾ (2.10);
=20. **Jay Hunt (Ia) 6-10¾;
=20. Curtis Richardson (Akr) 6-10¾;
23. Peyton Fredrickson (WaSt) 6-10¾;
24. Jacob Patten (MTn) 6-10¾.