Jamaican Carey McLeod, competing for Arkansas, equalled the long-standing national record with a lifetime best jump of 8.40m to win the men’s long jump title on day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Friday.
The collegiate record may have survived, but it was an incredibly close competition with four men surpassing 8.30m.
Fellow Jamaican Wayne Pinnock, also of Arkansas, took an early lead with 8.21m, but McLeod then claimed pole position in round two with 8.22m. Pinnock reclaimed the lead in round three with 8.27m, and Jeremiah Davis’ 8.23m jump bumped McLeod down into third.
Cameron Crump of Mississippi State then jumped to the top of the leaderboard with 8.39m in round four, equalling his lifetime best. Pinnock responded with 8.33m. Both men jumped beyond 8.30m again in round five, though it didn’t alter their positions.
There were more changes to come, though. In the final round, McLeod delivered the knock-out blow, which equalled the long-standing Jamaican indoor record set in 1996, that is 27 years ago by James Beckford.
Davis then uncorked a PB of 8.37m to move into third place, bumping Pinnock off the podium.
Pinnock tried to respond but could only match his 8.33m leap in the final round to finish fourth. Crump, meanwhile, ended his series with 8.15m and had to settle for second place.
On the all-time collegiate list, McLeod is the No. 5 performer with the No. 6 performance. In addition to Walder, the only jumpers ahead of him include Miguel Pate, Carl Lewis, and Juvaughan Harrison.