CONTESTED UNDER cool, threatening skies that never dropped rain, the high jump was the ultimate Western showdown: Tejaswin Shankar, dressed in the all-white of Kansas State against Darius Carbin in the all-black of Georgia.
Shankar, the model of consistency at the NCAA level, had won this event as a frosh in ’18, and was runner-up in ’19 & ’21. Carbin, the up-and-comer, was a 3-time 7th placer in NCAA meets.
Thought to be head and shoulders over the pair was the premeet favorite, Oklahoma’s Vernon Turner, this year’s Indoor champion at 7-7¼ (2.32) and co-outdoor leader at 7-6½ (2.30) along with Carbin and USC’s Earnie Sears.
Only Turner passed the opening height of 6-10¾ (2.10), the rest of the field nervous about the threat of rain. Shankar and Carbin missed once. At 7-½ (2.15) Carbin again needed two tries, while Turner cleared to tie with 4 others for the lead.
Despite the low bar settings, only 14 of the 24-man field advanced to 7-1¾ (2.18). Just 7 cleared, with Auburn’s Dontavious Hill and UT Arlington’s Bryson DeBerry sharing the lead, the only participants with no misses. When DeBerry had 3 misses at 7-3 (2.21) the lead belonged to Hill with 5 remaining in the competition as the bar moved up.
Shankar and Carbin cleared 7-4¼ (2.24) on first efforts, and when Hill, Turner and Washington State’s Mitch Jacobson went out the scoring was decided other than the first two places.
When Shankar, from India, and Californian Carbin couldn’t clear 7-5¼ (2.27) a jumpoff — maybe the first-ever in the NCAA meet — was required as each of the remaining pair had two misses at earlier heights.
When Shankar cleared it gave him the title with his last jump as a collegiate athlete, creating a perfect bookend to his 1-2-2-1 performances in his NCAA Outdoor meets.
A 23-year-old senior, Shankar was happy to have gone out on top: “I wanted to give my best and go out with a title. This one I will cherish the most. This meet was my last meet and I wanted to go out there and make it memorable for myself, make it memorable for the university.”
MEN’S HIGH JUMP RESULTS
1. Tejaswin Shankar’ (KsSt-Ind) 7-5¼ (2.27) (jumpoff);
2. Darius Carbin (Ga) 7-4¼ (2.24);
3. *Dontavious Hill (Aub) 7-3 (2.21);
4. Vernon Turner (Ok) 7-3;
5. Mitch Jacobson (WaSt) 7-3;
6. Bryson DeBerry (UTA) 7-1¾ (2.18);
7. **Trey Allen (Louis) 7-1¾;
8. *Roberto Vilches’ (Mo-Mex) 7-½ (2.15);
9. **Shaun Miller’ (OhSt-Bah) 7-½; 10. tie, Earnie Sears (USC) & *Corvell Todd (SnMs) 7-½; 12. **Caleb Wilborn (TxT) 7-½; 13. *Romaine Beckford’ (SFl-Jam) 7-½; 14. *Omamuyowi Erhire’ (MTn-Ngr) 7-½; 15. tie, *Mayson Conner (Nb), Kyle Alcine’ (KsSt-Bah), ***Kennedy Sauder (Lib) & **Jackson Marseille (SC) 6-10¾ (2.10); 19. tie, Jeff Hollis (Prin) & *Tony Jones (WF) 6-10¾;… nh—**Jeremy Cody (AzSt), Isaiah Holmes (Mia), **Carter Bajoit (TxAM), ***Kason O’Riley (Ok).