No third-place finisher in the history of the USA Track and Field U20 National Championships had ever run faster in the 110 meter hurdles.
So in many ways, it was a travesty that St. Mary's Stockton (CA) High School junior Jamar Marshall didn't make his first international USA U20 team following his remarkable performance in the event's final on Saturday in Miramar, Florida.
Marshall had been the class of the 110s for much of the 2019 high school season, and the California double-champion in the 110mH-300mH had entered as the top high school talent. A week earlier, he had won Brooks PR, his first national title.
But when two NCAA Division I Championship qualifiers -- one of which made the NCAA finals -- were in the pool, naturally the conversation steers a different way.
And indeed, it was a incredible duel to the line between Kentucky's Tai Brown and Oregon's Eric Edwards. In the finals, both athletes tied the previous meet record at the 39-inch hurdles with times of 13.21 seconds. Brown was ahead by a margin of a thousandth of a second, beating Edwards, the NCAA finalist.
Marshall, however, was just a tenth behind, in 13.22 seconds. And because he ran at the high school height, his effort will go down as the third fastest all-time in high school history. He's now the second fastest athlete ever. The next fastest athlete was VCU's Daiqwaun Faircloth, who went 13.47 seconds.
As the attention moved its way to winner and runner-up, little was said about Marshall's history making run. But it's hard to forget a 13.22.
He became the fastest high school athlete at the U20 meet all-time.
Marshall's 2019 Progression at the 110mH:
- 13.22 -- USATF U20 Final (+1.5)
- 13.49 -- USATF U20 Prelim (+2.1)
- 13.60 -- Brooks PR
- 13.89 -- Golden West Invitational
- 13.31w -- CIF State Championships (+3.3)
- 13.50 -- CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Prelims & Finals
- 13.61 -- TCAL Prelims
- 13.99 -- Stanford Invitational finals
- 13.61 -- Stanford Invitational prelims
- 14.42 -- Husky Invitational -- the only finals race he took second in all season