Bahamian high jumper Jyles Etienne continues to improve.
He opened his his junior collegiate season for Indiana University with a bang on Saturday, soaring to a new personal best and meet record of 2.23 meters (m) – 7’ 3-3/4” at the Hoosier Open in Bloomington, Indiana, USA, winning his third consecutive title. He won in 2017 with a meet-record mark of 2.21m (7’ 3”) and last year he popped 2.15m (7’ 0-1/2”).
Seeking to go higher, the former CARIFTA standout made an attempt at 2.26m (7’ 5”) but just came up short on his third attempt.
The 2016 New York State Federation Champion passed at the first three heights of 1.92m (6’ 3-1/2”), 1.97m (6’ 5-1/2”) and 2.02m (6’ 7-1/2”) before clearing 2.06m (6’ 9”) on his first attempt. He then passed at 2.10m (6’ 10-3/4”) and followed with a clearance at 2.13m (6’ 11-3/4”) to win the meet on just his second jump of the competition.
Cincinnati Bearcats’ duo Jeremy Hayton, a sophomore, and Lawerence Mitchell, a freshman, finished a distant second and third with jumps of 2.10m and 2.06m respectively.
Meanwhile, after Hayton bowed out, Etienne was jumping by himself. He cleared 2.18m (7’ 1-3/4”) on his first attempt and then set his sights on 2.23m. With the crowd at Gladstein Fieldhouse cheering him on, Etienne cleared the height on his second attempt, showing a rare flash of emotion that revealed how much the jump meant to him.
The indoor season is young, but Etienne’s mark is the new No. 1 jump in the nation ahead of Tiffin University’s Cameron Burrows who cleared 2.20m (7’ 2-1/2”) on December 6.
Etienne and the Hoosiers will be back in action on Saturday January 11, 2020 in an Indiana vs. Tennessee dual meet in Bloomington, Indiana. Action is slated to begin at 12 noon inside the Gladstein Fieldhouse facility on Indiana’s campus.