Friday, March 21, 2014

In the "things that make you go hmmm" department (or my answer to the 5-3 high jumper video)...

I don't know if it's the grumpy old man in me, but both Flotrack and RunnerSpace posted on their sites a video of a 5-3 (1.60m) high jumper from Benet Academy in Illinois clearing 6-4 (1.93m) or 6-5 (1.96m) in a recent indoor meet.

While I am not here to slam the kid or diminish his performance, the reality is that the jump is okay, and not mediocre or spectacular.

(By the way, Flotrack has the jump at 6-4, while the YouTube title says he jumped 6-5.  What I'd like to know is the kid's name, the date of the meet, and the results of this competition.  Please feel free to post it in the comments section or on our Facebook page).

Here's the video:

If we're using height over head differentials to compare this jump, this isn't even close.

On May 12, 1984, Rick Noji (above, competing at 1992 US Olympic Trials/photo courtesy Getty Images) from Seattle's Franklin High School jumped 7-4 1/2 (2.25m) at the Seattle Metro League championship meet at Husky Stadium.  Noji, who I worked with in an advisory capacity for most of his career, was 5-8 (1.73m), which made the height-over-head differential at 20 1/2 inches (52 cm) versus 14 inches (36 cm).

The true measure is this little nugget from high jumper Stefan Holm's web site, in which he lists the names of the 48 jumpers who have cleared 50 centimeters (19 3/4 inches) or higher.  If you're still locked in to inches, lets go check out the list of folks who have cleared 51 centimeters (20 inches) or better.

Noji finished his career with a personal best of 7-7 (2.31m), and competed for Team USA three times at the IAAF world track & field championships.  He won the Pac-10 high jump title in 1990, and is the school record holder at the University of Washington at 7-6 1/2 (2.30m).

I've posted this video several times over the years, but thought I'd post it again.  This is Rick jumping at the 1991 IAAF world track & field championships in Tokyo, where he finished eighth with a jump of 7-5 3/4 (2.28m).

After all this, I just gotta say...C'MON, MAN!

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