Saturday, March 12, 2016

High School Star Vashti Cunningham Soars to World High Jump Lead

Vashti Cunningham - already a high school high jump prodigy - set the US national high school record of 6'5" and then improved it to 6' 6.25" at the US Senior Indoor Nationals in Portland this evening. The latter is the highest jump in the world this year. A breakout star, the high school senior was poised and confident in her post-competition interviews. When asked what she expects to do at Worlds next week, she replied, "6'7", 6'8" - whatever it takes to win."

Other highlights:

A remarkably deep women's pole vault saw 5 over 15' 3". Sandi Morris set two personal bests on her way to upsetting Olympic gold medalist Jenn Suhr with her 16' 2.75" clearance. Suhr was over 16' as well, while Demi Payne took 3rd in 15' 11".

John Nunn seems to be recovering from his 50k Olympic qualifying race better than Galen Rupp is recovering from his marathon. He won the men's 3,000m race walk today. He grabbed the lead on the first lap, and while he had company from Nick Christie early in the 3rd kilometer, Nunn sped away and was never really headed.

An exciting women's long jump saw veteran Britney Reese win in 22' 7 1/4", with Janay DeLoach 2nd in 21' 9 1/2". Ajee Wilson dominated the women's 800m and won by over a second and a half in 2:00.87. Local favorite Matt Centrowitz ran from the front and controlled the men's 1500m until the last lap when Robby Andrews made it interesting by passing Centrowitz - who passed him back! Centrowitz won by .07 in 3:44.33.

Kurt Roberts won a thrilling men's shot put over veteran Reese Hoffa. Only one centimeter - 1/4 of an inch - separated the two. Roberts' winning mark was 65' 10.5".

Brenda Martinez stepped up to the 1500m and became national champion with a 1.6 second victory over Corey McGee in 4:08.37.

Boris Berian fulfilled his potential with his first national championship at 800m.

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