How high will Wilson and Bryan go?
The last time high jumpers Lushane Wilson and Christoff Bryan were in action at the National Stadium, Wilson cleared a personal best height of 2.26 metres with Bryan over at 2.23, his highest clearance in five years. When they march out to the high...
The last time high jumpers Lushane Wilson and Christoff Bryan were in action at the National Stadium, Wilson cleared a personal best height of 2.26 metres with Bryan over at 2.23, his highest clearance in five years. When they march out to the high jump apron today at the Gibson McCook Relays, both men will be seeking to go higher.
Their performances a month ago at the Queen’s/Grace Jackson Invitational were noteworthy. Bryan deployed a shortened run-up and stayed in the battle up to 2.26m. Wilson cleared that height on his first attempt to become the joint second-highest Jamaican jumper in history and then the G.C. Foster College representative attempted 2.29m for the first time.
“It feels good. I’m all smiles for both me and my coach, Marlon Gayle,” Wilson said.
The Queen’s result was even more remarkable because Wilson and Bryan were the only ones left once the bar reached 2.15m.
Bryan had a quiet smile on his face when the jumping was over.
“I’m satisfied with what I did today and I’m going to build from here,” promised the 2017 NCAA winner for Kansas State University. While he was there, he set a personal best of 2.25m.
Conditions for the Gibson McCook men’s high jump are promising. The event starts at 2:15 p.m. instead of the 11:45 a.m. start at the Queen’s meet. Hopefully, when the bar is above 2.20m, they will have a chance to compete as the usual National Stadium south-north breeze subsides. Best of all, Wilson won’t have played a Jamaica Basketball Association Elite League game the night before.
Once again, the next generation will jump alongside the 24-year-old Wilson and Bryan, 26. Chavez Penn, JC’s Carifta Under-17 champion, and Aaron McKenzie of Kingston College, the 2022 Boys’ Championships Class Two winner, lead the high school challenge against the seniors.
Wilson and Bryan may well narrow the gap to the 2023 World Championships qualifying height of 2.32 metres. If they do, their endeavours will take them past the Gibson McCook record of 2.24 by Germaine Mason in 2004.
Mason gave notice of that record with gold at the 2003 Pan American Games, and fifth place at the World Championships. That’s the best finish by a Jamaican in the high jump at the Worlds. Weeks after Gibson, he followed up with the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships.
An ankle injury made it impossible for him to go to the 2004 Olympics but, jumping for Great Britain, he won the silver in 2008.
As Mason was, Bryan is a member of the MVP Track Club in Kingston.
Between them, they have five Penn Relays high jump titles, Bryan taking three for Wolmer’s Boys’ School and Wilson owning two while he was at St Jago High. If they both could break Mason’s Gibson McCook record, and close the gap to 2.32m, their stocks would rise even further.
Wilson cleared 2.21m to win at Gibson-McCook last year.