University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff junior Caleb Snowden nearly finished in the top 10 of the men's high jump at the NCAA outdoor track and field finals Friday.
Competing at the University of Texas at Austin, Snowden and 10 others each jumped 2.16 meters, or 7 feet, 1 inch, for their final height. Snowden placed 11th, however, one spot behind Johnathan Jones of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
The finishes are good enough to earn Jones and Snowden second-team All-American status, under standards by the U.S Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The top eight finishers in the national finals are first-team All-Americans, while the second eight are second-team All-Americans. In all, 24 men competed in the final.
Snowden qualified for the national finals by winning the West Preliminary in Sacramento, Calif., on May 26. He jumped 7 feet, 1½ inches, or 2.17 meters, to become the first athlete from a historically Black college or university to win the first round of a regional, according to UAPB sports information. He also topped the leaderboard for the East and West regions combined.
Romaine Beckford of the University of South Florida won the national championship. He and Vernon Turner of the University of Oklahoma jumped 7-5¼, with Beckford earning the win on fewer misses. The University of Missouri's Roberto Vilches, who placed third in the West Regional, took third in the national final at 7-4¼, and University of Southern California freshman Elias Gerald, the regional runner-up, was ninth.