On a chilly and slick evening in Eugene, Ore., Christoff Bryan failed to clear the bar in his first attempt at the second bar height of 2.13 meters.
No big deal.
Bryan shook off the miss, cleared the height on his second attempt, and then went on to win the 2017 NCAA Division I men’s high jump title at Hayward Field.
Bryan became one of only three jumpers to survive the next height of 2.18m with a third-attempt clear, and then delivered a dagger blow by clearing 2.21m on his second attempt while Arizona’s Justice Summerset was unable to clear and Texas Tech’s Trey Culver needed three tries to move on.
Neither Bryan nor Culver was able to clear 2.24m, and when Culver hit the bar on his third attempt Kansas State claimed its fifth title in the event in the last decade and sixth overall. Nathan Leeper won in 1998, Scott Sellers in 2007 and 2009, and Erik Kynard went back-to-back in 2011-2012.
It was Bryan’s redemption for 2016, when he settled for silver after losing a head-to-head battle with USC’s Randall Cunningham Jr., a fellow sophomore who ironically had seriously considered coming to Kansas State himself.
Bryan and Culver will both be seniors next season, so the 2018 championship already shapes up to be an epic battle.