IN A CHAMPIONSHIPS where fireworks seemed to be the order of the day, the men’s high jump couldn’t find a spark. JuVaughn Harrison made the team in his second event, but he took only three attempts to do so, stopping after his 7-5 (2.26) winner, equaling the lowest winning jump in the last 42 years.
The 24-year-old LSU alum was the only athlete in the field who had topped the Q-standard of 7-7¼ (2.32) . His prime challengers looked to be Shelby McEwen, the 5th-placer at last year’s Worlds, and Vernon Turner, the NCAA runner-up indoors and out for Oklahoma this season.
An opening height of 7-1 (2.16) knocked out 5 of the 18 starters. Harrison, McEwen and Turner were among the 7 who cleared on first try.
The next stop, 7-3 (2.21), proved to be too much for most of the field. Only 6 cleared, and only Harrison and McEwen initially.
At 7-5, Harrison flew over on his first, the only man to do so. That clinched the win though he would have to wait to be sure. McEwen cleared on his second. Turner went out, taking 3rd on misses over the other 7-3 competitors, Grand Valley’s Elijah Kosiba (4th), Olympian Darryl Sullivan (5th) and Auburn’s Dontavious Hill (6th).
Harrison, mindful of an iffy hamstring after the previous day’s 3rd in the long jump competition, passed 7-6 (2.29) and watched to see how McEwen fared. The Alabama alum, the oldest man in the field at 27, missed twice before passing to 7-7¼ (2.32). Having seen enough, Harrison retired from the competition. At the next height McEwen missed his one attempt, putting a period on the process.
Said Harrison, “I tweaked my hamstring a little bit during long jump on my last attempt. The USATF medical staff got me right. They did a lot of work on me between yesterday and today.”
The World and Olympic finalist, undefeated on the year with Diamond League wins in Doha and Florence, added, “This whole season has been giving me a lot of confidence. I’ve been jumping good all season and I look forward to continuing that at Worlds.”
MEN’S HIGH JUMP RESULTS
1. JuVaughn Harrison (Puma) 7-5 (2.26);
2. Shelby McEwen (Nike) 7-5 (2.26);
3. Vernon Turner (Ok) 7-3 (2.21);
4. Elijah Kosiba (GVSU) 7-3 (2.21);
5. Darryl Sullivan (unat) 7-3 (2.21);
6. Dontavious Hill (Aub) 7-3 (2.21);
=7. Kason O’Riley (Ar) 7-1 (2.16);
=7. Brayden Sorensen (NbK) 7-1 (2.16);
=7. Corvell Todd (unat) 7-1 (2.16);
=10. Kyle Rollins (GSTC) & Andrew Taylor (unat) 7-1 (2.16); =12. Ethan Harris (unat) & Jonathan Rankins James (GVSU) 7-1 (2.16);… nh—Trey Allen (Louis), Mayson Conner (Nb), Justin Lewis (unat), Charles McBride (Camp), Brady Palen (Wich).