Kansas State alum Erik Kynard was aiming for his fifth outdoor title, after winning his fifth consecutive indoor crown in March. The ’12 Olympic silver medalist hadn’t lost to an American this year and was the clear favorite. However “in the high jump, anything can happen.” Those words were uttered by Jeron Robinson after he upset Kynard to win his first national title.
The early jumping was uneventful. Kynard was never worse than tied for the lead after each of the first five heights. He was the sole leader after clearing 7-5¾ (2.28), having no misses at that point. Robinson stood 3rd behind Kynard and Trey Culver, the latter setting an outdoor PR.
The bar was then raised to 7-7 (2.31). Kynard missed twice and Robinson equaled his PR for the second time this year by clearing that height on his second try. Kynard passed his last attempt and the bar went to 7-8 (2.34). The favorite’s one effort at that height was a disaster. He ran under the bar and ended up lying on the mat for several minutes in obvious pain. When he was able to leave, he had to be helped to his feet and needed assistance in proceeding to the athletes’ bench. He seemed to be hopping and not putting any weight on his left foot. He did not return to the infield and was not on the podium for the medal ceremony.
A few days later, Kynard posted a picture on Instagram showing him on crutches wearing a large medical boot on that member. “The body is a delicate and plastic instrument,” he said, adding hashtags that included #needavacation and #fckthisboot.
The 27-year-old Robinson, a former NCAA Div. II champion while at Texas A&M–Kingsville, was naturally elated by his victory. “I’m excited,” he said. “I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight.” Asked if he was going for a PR this summer, he replied “I’m always going for a PR.”
USATF MEN’S HIGH JUMP RESULTS
1. Jeron Robinson (Nik) 7-7 (2.31) =PR;
2. Erik Kynard (Jordan) 7-5¾ (2.28);
3. Trey Culver (TxT) 7-5¾ outdoor PR;
4. Ricky Robertson (unat) 7-5¾;
5. Shelby McEwen (Al) 7-4½ (2.25);
6. Jonathan Wells (Il) 7-4½;
7. Avion Jones (unat) 7-3¼ (2.22);
8. Bradley Adkins (unat) 7-1½ (2.17);
9. Bryan McBride (unat) 7-1½;
10. Benjamin Milligan (Or) 7-1½;
11. James Harris (unat) 7-1½;
12. Kyle Landon (unat) 7-1½;
=13. Landon Bartel (Nb) 6-11½ (2.12);
=13. Kris Kornegay-Gober (Shore) 6-11½;
… nh—Jeff Giannettino (Army). □