On Saturday afternoon, while most of the nation's attention was tuned to the myriad of college basketball games, the NCAA hosted their 2015 Indoor Track & Field Championships. With the nation's best jump this season of 7 feet, 5.5 inches, Marquette's Wally Ellenson was a favorite to win a national championship in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Ellenson cleared 7' 3.75" at the Randal Tyson Track Center, but was unable to come away with a title, instead finishing third behind Mark Adkins and Jacorian Duffield from Texas Tech.
With competition starting at 6 feet, 10.75 inches, most of the competitors stayed in the field until the bar raised to 7 feet, 3.75 inches. It took Ellenson just one leap to clear that height, but the rest of the field struggled with it. The group had already dipped from 16 to 11 at that point, and another seven men fell away, leaving just Ellenson, Adkins, Duffield, and DJ Smith from Auburn. Duffield was the only one to clear 7'5.5" on the first jump, and after the other men all missed their first try and Smith missed his second as well, everyone agreed to move to 7'6" with their remaining jumps to attempt to win the meet.
Only Duffield and Adkins cleared the height, though, and with fewer misses during the competition, Duffield was declared the champion. Had Ellenson cleared the height, he would have set a new personal best as well as breaking his own Marquette school record that he had set earlier this indoor season.
With basketball season over, Ellenson can now focus on the outdoor track and field season. He finished second in the high jump at that NCAA meet a year ago. You can keep track of Marquette's meets using the handy-dandy schedule on GoMarquette.com.