The High Jump Is The Most Competitive Field Event

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There's no argument: we're witnessing something special in the boys high jump this spring. 

Over the weekend, Yukon (OK) High senior Vernon Turner eclipsed the National Federation of State High School Associations record of 7-5.75, last accomplished by James White of Kansas City Grandview (MO) High in 2009, by going 7 feet, 6 inches. 

That jump is fourth best in the world right now and would have granted him the 36th best performance a season ago among all IAAF competition. 

He's just one inch away from tying a national record. But compared to the top American high jumpers in the world last year, Turner's output out ranks them in high school: 

Athlete Comparison

Vernon Turner l Erik Kynard

Vernon Turner l Avion Jones

If Turner holds up this pace, he could also become the first back-to-back national leader in the high jump since 2008, when Papillion-La Vista (NE) High's Randal Carter led the country over two straight seasons. 

There's also this: the boys high jump has been one of the most competitive events in the country over the last decade in regards to geographic tilt. There just simply hasn't been one. 

Athletes from seven different states have earned nation-leading marks over the last 11 years. 

And heights have been rising since 2014. Consider that from 2010-2013, no more than 15 athletes converted on heights at 7-feet or higher. 

  • 2010: 15
  • 2011: 14
  • 2012: 11
  • 2013: 10

But from 2014-2016, that number skyrocketed: at least 21 high jumpers have achieved that mark yearly.

  • 2014: 21
  • 2015: 22
  • 2016: 24
  • 2017: 11

So far, 2017 is on track to do the same. Click on the slideshow to see a yearly review of the top 100 performances in the high jump. 

2017 l 2016 l 2015 l 2014 l 2013 l 2012 l 2011 l 2010