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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | June 9, 2022

How 9 centimeters broke a tie for the 2022 Division I men's long jump title

Men's long jump at the 2022 NCAA outdoor track and field championships

EUGENE, OR — At first glance, you might think the 2022 Division I men’s outdoor long jump championship ended in a tie. Your mind isn’t playing tricks on you — the top two jumps are the exact same distance. But here’s how nine centimeters decided the title.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: 2022 Division I outdoor track and field championships

The first round started the championship with a bang as Tennessee’s Carey McLeod jumped 7.85 meters, setting the tone early. McLeod was the only athlete to surpass the 7.80-meter mark on the first attempt, ensuring that winning this year’s championship would take a stellar performance.

McLeod’s teammate and 2022 indoor long jump champion, Wayne Pinnock, took the lead after round two. Pinnock kept the lead with the Volunteers after jumping 7.96 meters on his second attempt. Pinnock would hold the lead through round four.

Then came the fifth round. That’s when Florida State’s Jerimiah Davis lined up for his attempt. With the crowd clapping, Davis ran and lept 8.00 meters in the air to take the lead. It was a personal best for Davis; it was only fitting that he pushed his personal limit to new heights with a championship on the line.

But there was still one round left. 

8.00 meters was the mark to beat — so we thought — to win a championship. 

Many of the other jumpers already left the infield by round six as 8.00 meters was a high mark that left just nine of the 24 competitors remaining entering the final jump.

One jumper lept. Then another and more. But still, Davis’ mark was out in front.

That was until Pinnock retook the stage.

The crowd clapped, Pinnock ran. Pinnock jumped, almost floating over the sand. Then he landed in the pit.

From the audience’s perspective, you could tell Pinnock went far, making it a close call. How close? Well, the judges measured in the sand and finally gave back a result.

8.00 meters.

Yes, Pinnock jumped the exact same distance as Davis on his final jump. Each sat at the 8.00-meter mark after six rounds of competition.

A tie.

However, it’s the championships so someone has to walk away with the win. They can’t end in a tie and share a trophy, could they? They'd have to jump again to see who could be the first to surpass that mark, right?

No and no.

Per NCAA championship rules, with the two long jumpers tied for the farthest long jump, the winner would be decided by whoever had the second-best jump between the two.

Pinnock’s second-best jump was her 7.96-meter leaps in the second and fifth rounds. Davis’ second-best jump measured 7.87 meters in round six. 

RESULTS: Click or tap here to see the complete results from the 2022 NCAA men’s outdoor long jump championship

With a second-best jump that was only four centimeters off of the championship-leading distance and nine centimeters farther than Davis, Tennessee’s Wayne Pinnock won the 2022 Division I outdoor men’s long jump title.

Pinnock’s victory gives him the season sweep of the 2022 men’s indoor and outdoor long jump titles. 

Pinnock and Davis were joined by teammates Issac Grimes (FSU) and Carey McLeod (UT) in the top five, finishing third and fourth, respectively. It marked the first time that two men’s programs had multiple top-five long jump finishers in championship history.

On top of all that history, Wayne Pinnock's long jump victory gave Tennessee 10 points to its team total, keeping the Volunteers in pursuit of the 2022 Division I men's outdoor track and field title.

It's crazy how far centimeters can go.

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