GRESHAM, Oregon—Curtis HS graduate Dakarai Hightower (above/photo courtesy Lane CC), who attends Lane Community College in Eugene, edged closer to qualifying for the US Olympic Track & Field Trials in winning the Northwest Athletic Conference high jump title at Mt. Hood Community College Tuesday.
Hightower, who has been one of the top collegiate high jumpers in the Pacific Northwest regardless of classification, cleared a personal best 7-5 (2.26m) to set an all-time NWAC record.
His mark is 2 centimeters (3/4 inch) short of the Olympic trials qualifying standard of 7-5.75 (2.28m), and 1 inch (3 cm) short of the Olympic standard of 7-6 (2.29m).
The national junior college record in the high jump is 7-8 (2.34m) set by Dennis Lewis of Long Beach CC set in 1985.
Currently, that mark ties Hightower for #7 on the US list this season. Assuming that USATF takes a field size of 24 since the qualifying period opened on May 1, 2015, Hightower would currently have a spot at the Trials, as less than 24 athletes have bettered the Trials qualifying standard.