ASU McBride wins NCAA high jump title

EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona State junior Bryan McBride set a lifetime best as he won the NCAA title in the high jump on Friday at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field.

McBride cleared 2.28m on his third and final try, earning 10 team points and moving up to No. 2 in the ASU outdoor track and field record book.

This marks ASU’s first champion in the high jump since Kyle Arney won the event in 1977 with his school record clearance of 2.29m (7-6.00). McBride has won the 24th men’s outdoor title in Sun Devil history, the 12th in a field event.

"We were dealing with some very poor weather to start off the day, but Bryan did a great job managing his emotions and not letting it affect him as he prepared to compete," coach Greg Kraft said. "To be the only jumper to clear 2.25m on his first try, and then to make a lifetime best at 2.28m, we’re all very proud. He also had some truly great attempts at 2.31m, which would have been world class. It really puts us in a good place going into the final day of competition."

A native of Peoria, Ariz., McBride moved from third to first place as he was the only competitor to clear a then-personal best 2.25m (7-4.50) on the first attempt. Minnesota’s Wally Ellenson cleared the bar on his second try, made two attempts at 2.28m before passing and using his final try on 2.31m (7-7.00). Neither was able to clear 2.31m, giving McBride the title.

"Clearing 2.25m on my first try was a big relief," McBride said. "I knew that jump was going to be the jump that decided who was going to win it all. It was really great to see all the hard work I put in come out when I needed it to. I focused so much on that bar that I really didn’t think about how I was going to feel when I cleared 2.28m. It was a whole other level of excitement that was very overwhelming, but it was so awesome to be able to share all my feelings with the ASU fans that are out here. It’s such an honor to know that I’m the top men’s high jumper in Division I."

In his career, McBride has earned a pair of high jump All-America honors including his sixth-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. McBride was a second-team All-American in the high jump at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

"We know that we have the talent to finish in the top-10 and Bryan getting those 10 points for us, after being predicted to finish as the runner up, was crucial," Kraft added. "When you factor in Josh Dixon in the triple jump and both our relays, we have a very strong chance."