EUGENE, Ore. — High jumper Erik Kynard was seeking a three-peat in the men’s high jump to close his Kansas State career at the NCAA track and field championship on Friday evening. In front of more than 10,000 cheering fans, Kynard and his rival over his entire collegiate career, Derek Drouin of Indiana, went to battle one last time.
It was Drouin who finished on top.
Kynard finished second in his final jump in a K-State uniform with a leap of seven feet, seven inches, coming up short of the first three-peat in the event since 1946. Instead, Drouin was able to come from behind after being pushed in a corner after a miss and cleared 7-8 on his second attempt.
“I feel like I did well. Both of us are great jumpers. I beat him last week (at the Prefontaine Classic). He beat me this week,” Kynard said. “There’s a reason no one has won this three times in a row since the 1940s.”
The drama that went down in the high jump pit at historic Hayward Field was the exact same as it was last year in Drake Stadium, only with the opposite result.
“Erik has had a remarkable collegiate career,” Kansas State head coach Cliff Rovelto said. “He will be an eight-time All-American, six-time conference champion, won two national championships and won an Olympic silver medal as well as besting school records held by NCAA champions and Olympians."