Olympic Trials Men’s High Jump — JuVaughn Harrison Starts His Double

JuVaughn Harrison was perfect through the winning height of 7-7¾. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

THAT SOARING TEMPERATURES might make the high jump difficult started to become apparent at the first height, an “easy” 7-1 (2.16) that stymied more than half the field on first attempt. By the time the jumping was done at the next setting, 7-3 (2.21), only 6 were left, led by the perfect records of Shelby McEwen and favored JuVaughn Harrison.

Trey Culver and South Dakota’s Zack Anderson both got stopped by the next bar, 7-4¼ (2.27). Tennessee’s Darryl Sullivan nearly met his end there too but pulled off a clutch third-attempt clearance.

He recounted, “The third one, what was going through my head was, ‘I’ve made it this far, I’m not going to go out like this.’ I just wanted to roast the bar. Coach was telling me, ‘You’ve got this, this is easy, just go out there and do what you do best.’”

That make created a stirring 4-man battle for the team, as Harrison now had a solo lead with a still-perfect record and McEwen and veteran Erik Kynard sat in positions 2 & 3. Kynard, the ’12 Olympic gold medalist, was the only one lacking the Tokyo standard.

The next height, 7-6½ (2.30) knocked Kynard out of the top three. While the others made it on their first attempts, he missed twice. He chose to pass and get one guaranteed shot at the Q of 7-7¾ (2.33), the next height.

He missed, and that set the team. The other three all chose to take their jumps, even though Harrison was facing the start of the long jump final an hour away. Harrison and Sullivan both cleared, the latter equaling his PR. This time it was McEwen who missed twice, then passed.

The bar went up to 7-8¾ (2.36). McEwen passed. After two misses each, both Harrison and Sullivan passed to 7-10 (2.39) as well. Sullivan missed and was done for the day. Harrison passed to see how McEwen fared—a miss, which locked up the win for the LSU star.

At the time the high jump ended, Harrison was set to have a 45-minute break before the long jump, where he would be the fourth jumper in the order. That break turned into hours as the weather delay was issued.

After the LJ, Harrison finally had time to talk about his unique doubling abilities. “It really showed me that everything I was doing in college wasn’t a fluke,” he said. “It shows that I can compete with the best of the best. Hopefully I can come back home with some hardware.”

Said 3rd-placer McEwen, “Coming in I knew this was going to be a great competition. Just had to come in mentally focused, mentally prepared and just come out and have a good time.”

MEN’S HIGH JUMP RESULTS

(June 27)

1. JuVaughn Harrison (LSU) 7-7¾ (2.33)

(7-3, 7-4¼, 7-5¼, 7-6½, 7-7¾, 7-8¾ [xxp], 7-10 [p]) (2.21, 2.24, 2.27, 2.30, 2.33, 2.36 [xxp], 2.39 [p]);

2. Darryl Sullivan (Tn) 7-7¾ (2.33)

(7-1 [2], 7-3, 7-4¼ [3], 7-5¼, 7-6½, 7-7¾, 7-8¾ [xxp], 7-10 [x]) (2.16 [2], 2.21, 2.24 [3], 2.27, 2.30, 2.33, 2.36 [xxp], 2.39 [x]);

3. Shelby McEwen (unat) 7-6½ (2.30)

(7-1, 7-3, 7-4¼ [2], 7-5¼, 7-6½, 7-7¾ [xxp], 7-10 [x]) (2.16, 2.21, 2.24 [2], 2.27, 2.30, 2.33 [xxp], 2.39 [x]);

4. Erik Kynard (Jord) 7-5¼ (2.27)

(7-1, 7-3 [2], 7-4¼, 7-5¼, 7-6½ [xxp], 7-7¾ [x]) (2.16, 2.21 [2], 2.24, 2.27, 2.30 [xxp], 2.33 [x]);

5. Trey Culver (adi) 7-3 (2.21)

(7-1 [2], 7-3, 7-4¼ [xxx]) (2.16 [2], 2.21, 2.24 [xxx]);

6. Zack Anderson (SD) 7-3 (2.21)

(7-1 [2], 7-3 [2], 7-4¼ [xxx]) (2.16 [2], 2.21 [2], 2.24 [xxx]);

7. tie, Jordan Wesner (FlSt) & Keenon Laine (Tracksm) 7-1 (2.16)

(7-1, 7-3 [xxx]) (2.16, 2.21 [xxx]);

9. tie, Jason Smith (LBSt), Mayson Conner (Nb) & Tyler Arroyo (unat) 7-1 (2.16)

(7-1 [2], 7-3 [xxx]) (2.16 [2], 2.21 [xxx]);

… nh—Earnest Sears (USC) (7-1/2.16 [xxx]).

QUALIFYING (June 25)

Qualifiers: all finalists cleared 7-2¼/2.19;

Non-qualifiers: [7-¼/2.14]—Ben Milligan (Or); Jonathan Wells (Il); Kamyren Garrett (unat); Javen Reeves (unat); Zach Blackham (unat); Isaiah Holmes (Mia);

… nh—Justin Stuckey (Samf), Jeron Robinson (unat), Justice Summerset (Az), Kris Kornegay-Gober (USCG), Vernon Turner (Ok), Ethan Harris (GC).

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