Maalik Reynolds is bringing a large cheering section to Cambridge, Mass. Perhaps as many as four bus loads. First there is his Quaker teams, but the Princeton contingent will also be rooting for him as if he was sporting Orange & Black. That’s because if the four-time Heps’ champion and high flyer has an off day, the Cornell Big Red could be poised for 24 points in the event. If Reynolds can earn his fifth crown, that would strip at least two points per Cornellian in the team points’ chase.
But Reynolds has cleared ridiculous heights, you might ask, why the Princeton concern? Well yes, Reynolds has indeed gotten to 7-5 3/4 before, but his season best is 7-1, well below what Cornell’s Montez Blair has been up to (7-5 1/4!). And Big Red rookie Stephen Afadapa has cleared Reynolds’ season best as well. And then there’s a third Big Red — Tommy Butler — capable of a 7-footer. So Princeton will be cheering loudly for Reynolds as well as Tiger Omar Jarrett.
In the vault, Harvard’s Nico Weiler is a man without peer, clearing 17-4 1/2 already this season. The battle for second might be more than a foot below that, but there are a lot of points hanging in the balance. Keith Rayburn of Cornell will battle Princeton’s Adam Bragg and three others who’ve cleared 15-9.
Top fives for 2013:
2.27m (7-5 1/4) — Montez Blair (Cornell)
2.16m (7-1) — Maalik Reynolds (Penn)
2.16m (7-1) — Stephen Afadapa (Cornell)
2.13m (6-11 3/4) — Tommy Butler (Cornell)
2.07m (6-9 1/2) — Omar Jarrett (Princeton)
5.30m (17-4 1/2) — Nico Weiler (Harvard)
4.90m (16-0 3/4) — Keith Rayburn (Cornell)
4.80m (15-9) — Adam Bragg (Princeton)
4.80m (15-9) — Paul Chandler (Yale)
4.80m (15-9) — David Kim (Cornell)
4.80m (15-9) — Peter Roach (Cornell)
— Brett Hoover