NCAA Men’s High Jump — In/Out Double For Beckford

His second NCAA title this year plus a PR gave cause for Romaine Beckford to celebrate. (MIKE SCOTT)

WHEN JUMPING WAS COMPLETE at 7-3 (2.21), all but 3 of the 24 entrants had exited the competition. The remaining jumpers were all conference champs: Roberto Vilches of Missouri (SEC), favored Vernon Turner of Oklahoma (Big 12) and Romaine Beckford of South Florida (American).

Beckford and Turner had placed 1–2 at the NCAA Indoor and would fill the top spots again here, Beckford scoring the competition’s only PR.

The bar was raised to 7-4¼ (2.24) — a height made famous by Dick Fosbury when he won the ‘68 OG. Beckford and Vilches both needed 2 tries, Turner all 3. Vilches kicked the bar off on his first, but made on his second. Beckford chopped on his first and then sailed smoothly on the second.

“I made a mistake there on my jump,” said the Jamaican, rated No. 4 on our formchart coming in. “I usually want to keep it clean — first-attempt clearances.”

Now the bar went to 7-5¼ (2.27). Vilches was up first, and had a good shot but the bar fell. Turner had cleared 7-6½ (2.30) to win the Big 12, so he was confident and showed it with a nice clearance.

Beckford was looking at a lifetime best but nerves weren’t a factor. He also cleared. Vilches wasn’t very close on his last 2 tries and carried home bronze.

Nothing clicked for either jumper at 7-6½ (2.30), so the misses at 7-4¼ (2.24) determined the winner.

“This was a difficult way to end my college career,” lamented Turner, who has won 1 NCAA championship (‘22 indoor) and 5 Big 12s. “I’m ending with mixed feelings. But losing here will motivate me to do better at the USAs.”


(June 09)

1. *Romaine Beckford’ (SFl-Jam) 7-5¼ (2.27) PR;

2. Vernon Turner (Ok) 7-5¼ (2.27);

3. Roberto Vilches’ (Mo-Mex) 7-4¼ (2.24);

=4. *Trey Allen (Louis) 7-1 (2.16);

=4. Tony Jones (MsSt) 7-1 (2.16);

=4. Shaun Miller’ (OhSt-Bah) 7-1 (2.16);

=4. *Slavko Stević’ (SEnLa-Ser) 7-1 (2.16);

=4. **Tyus Wilson (Nb) 7-1 (2.16);

9. ***Elias Gerald (USC) 7-1; 10. *Johnathan Jones (ArLR) 7-1; 11. *Caleb Snowden (ArPB) 7-1; 12. Dontavious Hill (Aub) 7-1; 13. *Carter Bajoit (TxAM) 7-1; 14. tie, **Channing Ferguson (UUp), *Alex Babbington (Il), Michael Hoffer (Nb) & **Sam Hurley (Tx) 6-11 (2.11); 18. *Brady Palen (Wich) 6-11; 19. *Joshua Moore (EnKy) 6-11; 20. tie, Beau Allen (Duke) & **Zayne Palomino (SnMs) 6-9 (2.06);… nh—**Jakub Belik (UTEP), **Ali Eren Ünlü’ (LaM-Tur), ***Sherman Hawkins (Jack).

6-9 6-11 7-1 7-3 7-4¼ 7-5¼ 7-6½
Belik xxx
Babbington o o xxx
Unlu ppp xxx
Jones ppp o o xxx
Vilches o o o o xo xxx
Jones o xxo o xxx
Stevic o o o xxx
Moore xo xxo xxx
Gerald o xo o xxx
Hill o ppp xo xxx
Hoffer o o xxx
Palomino o xxx
Turner ppp o o o xxo o xxx
Hawkins ppp xxx
Allen ppp o o xxx
Miller ppp o o xxx
Beckford ppp o o o xo o xxx
Snowden xxo xo o xxx
Wilson o o o xxx
Bajoit o o xxo xxx
Hurley o o xxx
Palen o xo xxx
Ferguson o o xxx
Allen o xxx
2.06 2.11 2.16 2.21 2.24 2.27 2.30