We are #HighJumpU is a near-constant refrain for Kansas State, but at the West Preliminaries in Austin this year, we almost weren’t. With the women eliminated from NCAA high jump competition, it was up to the men to save face.
Junior Christoff Bryan came through big time for the Wildcats. He finished first in the qualifying and punched his ticket to Eugene for the third consecutive time. Last year, he finished second at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and this year, he’s determined to go one better.
Bryan came to Manhattan from Kingston, Jamaica. He started out as a sprinter in fourth grade, but that wasn’t a good fit. In his initial stint as a high jumper, he was actually cut from the team, but made it the next year, and hasn’t looked back. He would to go on to set the under-18 world record in the high jump.
In high school, he was the high jump record holder at the national Boys and Girls Championships, the under-18 gold medal winner at the CAC Junior Championships, and a three-time CARIFTA Games champion. He was motivated to come to Kansas State by Cliff Rovelto, but also because he’d seen Erik Kynard, Jr. win a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and
Since his arrival at Kansas State in 2014, Bryan has been leading the men’s high jump competition for the Wildcats. As a sophomore, he took first place in his very first collegiate meet, and went on to win the Big 12 Indoor high jump title, and took third place at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Along the way, he set personal best marks in both the outdoor and indoor school records in the event (2.25m).
This season, Bryan has been the picture of consistency. He won four consecutive indoor meets, including at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. At the NCAA Indoors, he had a bit of a setback and ended up in 5th place, and his outdoor season was hampered by tendinitis in his knee. But he has since bounced back, and his easy finish at the West Preliminaries suggests he’s all set for Eugene.