NCAA Men’s High Jump — Beckford Double Champ Again

Injury limited competition opportunities for Romaine Beckford in ’24 but the Arkansas senior hates losing and ably avoided that fate here. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

IT’S ALL ABOUT ownership for Romaine Beckford in the high jump. When he steps onto the apron, he believes that the bar belongs to him. And it’s hard to argue the point since, in the aftermath of this competition, he is undefeated in ’24 and has won both NCAA titles this year for Arkansas after winning both for South Florida in ’23.

Beckford had a couple lapses here, needing two tries at 7-3¾ (2.23) and two at 7-5 (2.26). No one else could clear 7-5 so he was the champion. He’s been dealing with the aftermath of a winter fibula injury but it obviously hasn’t slowed him much as he hasn’t lost a high jump since placing 7th in the NCAA Regional last year.

“When I get out there,” Beckford said, “I own the bar. It’s mine. And it’s all a matter of confidence.”

At 7-2½ (2.20), collegiate leader Tyus Wilson (Nebraska), who jumped 7-6 (2.29) to win the Big 10 and added two other victories at 7-5 (2.26), never looked comfortable. Following several misses, he was in 4th with a 3rd attempt make at 7-½ (2.17).

“I didn’t get enough warmup jumps,” he said, “and that’s on me.” When the bar went to 7-3¾ (2.23), he took the lead with a first-attempt clearance. Beckford needed two tries and Caleb Snowden three.

The other contenders couldn’t negotiate 7-3¾ and packed their spikes. Harvard frosh Tito Alofe was clean through four bars but couldn’t make 7-3¾. Kansas’s Devin Loudermilk also was in the mix but couldn’t get over 7-3¾ and finished 5th.

Of finishing his collegiate journey winning four in a row indoors and out, Beckford said, “I am still in disbelief. Nobody really knows, but I went through an injury [during] indoor season after trying to attempt the Olympic standard.

“I had a fibular stress reaction that had me out about 7 or 8 weeks. I just didn’t have the best season and I was scared that it would happen over and over. Internationally being [18th on the world list], I felt like I was an underdog today. It reminded me of when I was at South Florida and I was pretty much just trusting in God. I know my ability, I know I can jump high, I just really prayed.”


(June 07)

1. Romaine Beckford’ (Ar-Jam) 7-5 (2.26);

2. *Tyus Wilson (Nb) 7-3¾ (2.23);

3. Caleb Snowden (ArPB) 7-3¾;

4. ***Tito Alofe (Harv) 7-2½ (2.20) =out PR;

5. *Devin Loudermilk (Ks) 7-2½;

6. ***Kyren Washington (Ok) 7-2½;

7. ***Riyon Rankin (Ga) 7-1½ (2.17);

8. Brady Palen (Wich) 7-1½;

9. Omamuyovwi Erhire’ (TxT-Ngr) 7-1½; 10. Charles McBride (Camp) 7-1½; 11. tie, **Reign Winston (OhSt) (=PR), *Channing Ferguson (SC), Brandon Burke (VaT) & **Elias Gerald (USC) 6-11½ (2.12); 15. tie, *Kennedy Sauder (Mia) & ***Grant Campbell (Tn) 6-11½; 17. tie, ***Antréa Mita’ (Hous-Gre) & **Kamyren Garrett (Il) 6-11½; 19. *Kuda Chadenga’ (LSU-Zim) 6-11½; 20. Elijah Bell (VaT) 6-11½; 21. *Joe Lynch (SD) 6-9½ (2.07); 22. *Jakub Bělík’ (UTEP-CzR) 6-9½; 23. Dorian Curry (SAl) 6-9½;… nh—**Brion Stephens (Louis).

6-9½ 6-11½ 7-1½ 7-2½ 7-3¾ 7-5 7-7¾
Stephens ppp xxx
Wilson ppp o xo xxo o xxx
Campbell xo o xxx
Sauder xo o xxx
Lynch o xxx
Belik xo xxx
Alofe o o o o xxx
Snowden ppp o o o xxo xxx
Mita o xo xxx
Bell o xxo xxx
Beckford ppp o o o xo xo xxx
Curry xxo xxx
Winston o o xxx
Chadenga xo xo xxx
Loudermilk ppp xo o o xxx
McBride ppp o xxo xxx
Rankin o o o xxx
Gerald o o xxx
Garrett o xo xxx
Ferguson o o xxx
Washington o o o xo xxx
Palen o o xo xxx
Erhire xo o xo xxx
Burke o o xxx
2.07 2.12 2.17 2.20 2.23 2.26 2.33