NORMAN, Okla. – University of Oklahoma sophomore-to-be Hayden McClain will take to the triple jump runway Friday at 12:45 p.m. (CT) as he opens competition in the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships. Action in the world championships began on Tuesday and continues through Sunday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
McClain qualified for the meet after finishing second in the US Junior Nationals in early July, a meet that also was held at Hayward Field in Eugene. He posted a career-best 51-9.25 on his second jump, an effort that put him in first place until the fifth round of the meet.
McClain will jump in the first round of 12, then wait for 13 more athletes to compete in the second round. Any athlete who meets the qualifying standard of 52-2 will automatically advance to Sunday’s 5:05 p.m. (CT) final. At a minimum, the top 12 finishers in the prelims will advance.
McClain has the 19th best mark of the qualifiers but would need to record a mark just over three inches better than his qualifying mark to rank in the top 12 based on qualifying marks. Lazaro Martinez of Cuba has the top qualifying mark heading into the competition with a 56-6.75.
“I definitely want to jump 16 meters ( at least at the World Junior meet," McClain said when asked about his IAAF appearance. "Being able to qualify and get a top 12 spot is my first goal. From there, I want to try to place top eight, and maybe even better than that, maybe top three.”
McClain finished second in the triple jump in both the Big 12 Outdoor and Indoor championships. His 51-11.75 at the outdoor meet was wind aided so it wasn't eligible for record consideration. His IAAF qualifying mark moved him to sixth on the all-time OU career list. He had been ranked eighth with a 50-11.50 from the NCAA Prelims in late May.
Results are available at iaaf.org.