Baton Rouge, La. – It’s official. JuVaughn Harrison, aka Mr. Jumps, is headed to the Tokyo Olympics. Harrison won the U.S. title in the high jump on Sunday afternoon with a winning clearance of 7′ 7.75″ (2.33 meters).
It was an absolute scorcher on the track during the competition and temperatures were up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit towards the end of the high jump competition. The event was eerily similar to the SEC high jump competition that took place outdoors between Harrison and Tennessee’s Darryl Sullivan as both men went head to head with each other.
Harrison was clean on his first five bars as he cleared clearances of 7′ 3″ (2.21m), 7′ 4.25″ (2.24m), 7′ 5.25″ (2.27m), 7′ 6.50″ (2.30m) and the final bar of 7′ 7.75″ (2.33m). Sullivan needed three tries to make the height of 7′ 4.25″ (2.24m) and that gave Harrison the advantage due to fewer misses.
Both Harrison and Sullivan both cleared final heights of 7′ 7.75″ (2.33m) before they couldn’t clear a height of 7′ 8.75″ (2.36m). Harrison, who retired from competition after two misses at the height of 7′ 8.75″, shut it down in the high jump as the long jump competition was quickly approaching and he had about 55 minutes to get ready for that event. Sullivan attempted a bar of 7′ 10″ (2.39m) but wasn’t anywhere close to clearing, and Shelby McEwen finished third with a clearance of 7′ 6.50″ (2.30m). McEwen passed all the way to the height of 7′ 10″ as well but didn’t have a chance at that bar either.
Shortly after the conclusion of the high jump, USA Track & Field announced that the meet was postponed for several hours due to rising temperatures. It was around 105 degrees when the decision was made to postpone competition until later Sunday evening. So now, Harrison will compete in the long jump at 10:30 p.m. CT/8:30 p.m. PT with hopes of locking up his second bid to Tokyo. If he does so, he would become the first man since Jim Thorpe (1912) to compete in the both the long jump and high jump at the Olympics. Thanks for the heads up tip from Paul Swangard.
LSU’s other representatives in action tonight are Terrance Laird (200 meters/11:52 p.m. PT) and Cassandra Tate (400m hurdles/11:20 p.m. PT). Live coverage will air on NBC Sports Network.