Bryan takes aim at National Junior Record
Eighteen-year-old Christoff Bryan opened his career representing Kansas State University (KSU) with a personal-best leap in the high jump to win the event at the 2015 KSU Triangular at Ahearn Fieldhouse on Saturday.
The former Wolmerian, who cleared 2.24 metres for fourth at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in July 2014, cleared 2.25m to get the better of KSU teammate Natron Gipson, 2.19m, and Kansas University's Jonathan Fuller, 2.09m.
At the meet where athletes from Kansas State, Kansas University and Wichita State University compete for honours, the three-time CARIFTA Games champion skipped his first two jumps at 1.89m and 1.94m, respectively, before opening with 1.99m. He had his first miss at 2.19m, which he cleared on his second attempt. He had one more miss at 2.22m, before clearing his new personal best on his first attempt. The six-foot-four Bryan said he exceeded his own expectations at the meet.
GOING FOR THE RECORD
"I planned to jump 2.22m, so after 2.22m, I went to 2.25m and cleared it on the first attempt, and then I had some good attempts at 2.28m," he said.
"I am going after the national junior record of 2.27m."
He added: "I had to really tough it out today (Saturday). "My knee is not feeling good, but I'll start treating it again tomorrow (Sunday)."
Last season, he returned from injury to claim gold over Jamaica College's Clayton Brown at the ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships with a mark of 2.23m.
"I jump next at a meet in New Mexico, week after next. Hopefully, my knee will be okay by that time because I was feeling a lot of pain today," said Bryan, who suffers from patella tendonitis.
Notwithstanding the injuries, Bryan believes he has it in him to get to new heights in the near future.
"I have set a goal of becoming the first Jamaican competing for Jamaica to win an Olympic or World Championship medal," he said.
Having departed for KSU during the summer, the soft-spoken jumper said he has adjusted well to life in Kansas.
"It's cold, but I have adjusted pretty well. It's a welcoming community, so I'm pretty comfortable. Training and classes have been going good," said Bryan, who is majoring in entrepreneurship.
Former Edwin Allen jumper Kimberly Williamson also attends KSU. She won the women's equivalent with a leap of 1.78m.
Williamson, who had three misses at 1.83m, got the better of teammates Alyx Treasure (1.73m) and Rhizlane Siba (1.73).