USATF Men’s Long Jump — The Odds Were On The Evens

Jeff Henderson has won the last 3 even-year long jump titles. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

Even-numbered years have been kind to Jeff Henderson. Here he won his third national title, following ’14 & ’16. The Olympic gold medalist’s best jump, a first-round 26-7 (8.10), came on a day which featured shifting winds for the preliminary rounds, followed by the lightning delay which preceded the final 3 rounds.

The oddity was the paucity of fouls in the prelims (2 among the 9 finalists) even though each round of each flight saw both headwinds and tailwinds. The final three rounds saw nothing but tailwinds, but by then the competition had been delayed so much that only 6th-placer Mike Hartfield improved his best mark from the prelims.

Rodney Ruffin held down 1st after the first flight with a jump of 25-10¾ (7.89). That led until Henderson popped his winning 26-7 to conclude the first round of the second flight. The second round saw Ruffin surpassed in short order by Damarcus Simpson at 26-2¾ (7.99), NCAA champ Zach Bazile at 26-6¼ (8.08) and Marquis Dendy at 26-1¾ (7.97). In round 3, Charles Brown briefly moved to 4th with his 26-1¾, to equal Dendy’s best but holding a better second jump. Dendy responded with his best effort, 26-4½ (8.04), the last of only three jumps surpassing 8m for the field.

And then came the delay… which expanded… as the storm lingered. When the final three rounds began, Henderson led and chose to pass all three jumps. Bazile, in 2nd, fouled his fourth-rounder, then passed his final two, and 3rd-placer Dendy managed a 25-1¾ (7.66), passed his fifth jump and fouled his last.

The 29-year-old Henderson became the meet’s first winner with a sub-27 jump since ’06.


USATF MEN’S LONG JUMP RESULTS

(June 24; winds ranged from +3.5 to –1.3)

1. Jeff Henderson (adi) 26-7 (8.10)

(26-7, f, 26-3w, p, p, p) (8.10, f, 8.00w, p, p, p);

2. Zack Bazile (OhSt) 26-6¼ (8.08)

(24-2¼, 26-6¼, 25-1¾, f, p, p) (7.37, 8.08, 7.66, f, p, p);

3. Marquis Dendy (Nik) 26-4½w (8.04)

(25-9½, 26-1¾, 26-4½w, 25-1¾, p, f) (7.86, 7.97, 8.04w, 7.66, p, f);

4. Damarcus Simpson (Or) 26-2¾ (7.99)

(25-4½, 26-2¾, 25-9¼, f, 24-2½w, 25-1¾w) (7.73, 7.99, 7.85, f, 7.38w, 7.66w);

5. Charles Brown (TxT) 26-1¾ (7.97)

(24-11¼, 25-10, 26-1¾, f, 25-2½w, 24-3¾w) (7.60, 7.87, 7.97, f, 7.68w, 7.41w);

6. Mike Hartfield (unat) 26-1½w (7.96)

(25-6¼, 24-8¼, f, 26-1½w, 26-1w, 26-¼w) (7.78, 7.52, f, 7.96w, 7.95w, 7.93w);

7. Rodney Ruffin (SEnLa) 25-10¾ (7.89);

8. Kyle Darrow (NEn) 25-3½ (7.71);

9. KeAndre Bates (Fl) 25-3½w;

10. Jordan Latimer (Akr) 25-2¾ (7.69);

11. Corion Knight (FlSt) 25-¾ (7.64);

12. Andre Dorsey (unat) 25-½ (7.63);

13. Jarvis Gotch (unat) 25-0 (7.62);

14. Corey Crawford (unat) 24-9¼ (7.55);

15. Brian Huber (MnStM) 24-7¼ (7.50);

16. Jordan Downs (Bethel) 24-7w (7.49);

17. Lutalo Boyce (NBalGS) 24-6½ (7.48);

18. Tariq Thomas (DeV) 20-3 (6.17). □

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