DES MOINES, Iowa – Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard held off Indiana’s Derek Drouin, a likely Olympian for Canada, with a winning jump of 7 feet, 8 inches to repeat as national champion Thursday at the Outdoor National Championships.
Kynard thrilled the crowd by passing on his final attempt at 7-91/4 to take one stab at 7-93/4, the collegiate record, but he couldn’t clear the bar.
“It was all or nothing. I only had one to begin with, so I was like ‘If I’m going to go out, I’m going to out with a bang,” Kynard said. “I just thought I’d put it up there and see what it looked like. I didn’t expect it to look that high.”
Kynard’s failed last try even distracted the decathletes being honored on a nearby podium and highlighted the second day of the four-day meet – for some the last stop before the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Boise State’s Kurt Felix, who’ll compete for his native Grenada in the London Games, won the decathlon with 8,062 points.
Tim Glover defended his 2011 title in the javelin with a throw of 268 feet, though he missed the meet record set back in 1998 by less than a foot. Southern Illinois’s Jeneva McCall won the women’s hammer throw in 225-3.
TCU’s Whitney Gipson took the long jump in 22-41/2 – more than a foot better than former Curtis High standout Andrea Geubelle, who finished sixth at 21-4 competing for Kansas. LSU star Kimberlyn Duncan topped her own world-leading time in the 200 meters by qualifying for the finals in 22.19 seconds.
Texas A&M’s Natosha Rogers won the day’s only track final, the 10,000, in 32:41.63. Rogers turned up her pace on the final turn and blew past co-favorites Aliphine Tuliamuk of Wichita State and California’s Deborah Maier.
Brianne Theisen, who is going for her third straight NCAA heptathlon championship, topped the field after the first day with 3,803 points.
Texas leads the men’s team race with 19 points, while Stanford tops the women’s standings with 22 points. But those will likely change significantly starting today now that the vast majority of qualifying is over with.
Washington sophomore Katie Flood advanced to the finals in the 1,500-meters with a time of 4:12.65.