COLUMBIA - Liberty High senior Keyshawn King set a new high school boys outdoor U.S. No. 1 mark in the triple jump Saturday, with a leap of 51 feet, 4 inches at the Bojangles' Track and Field Classic held at Spring Valley.
King edged Jonathan Miller of the St. Michael School in Barbados by a little over one foot.
The new high mark for King was 1 inch better than his previous best set a month ago at the Golden Corner Invitational in Seneca.
King, who will enroll at Stanford University this fall, turned in his best jump on his final attempt, smiling and clapping his hands as he exited the pit.
King jumped 49 feet, 7 inches in his first attempt, then scratched on his second try before landing his record leap on his final attempt.
"Everyone out here was jumping big, but the pressure was forcing me over the edge," King said. "Right as I landed on my last attempt, I looked back and I knew it was out there. I didn't expect it to be a 51-4," he said.
Miller, who jumped immediately after King in the finals, scratched on all three attempts. His final, non-qualifying effort measured 51 feet, 5 inches.
"It was a great jump, and I think it would have won had I not faulted," Miller said following the competition.
"I was confident and relaxed going into the competition, but I was inconsistent in the competition," Miller said.
============================================================================ Name Year School Finals Wind Points ============================================================================ Finals 1 King, Keyshawn 12 Liberty 51-04.25 1.4 10 2 Miller, Jonathan 11 The St. Mich 50-02.00 +0.0 8 3 Snyder, Kevin 11 Christ School 49-03.25 1.5 6 4 Phillips, Andru 10 Mauldin 49-01.00 NWI 5 5 Alexander, Christopher 11 Rocky River 48-02.00 NWI 4 6 Weathers, Darius 12 Irmo 46-08.25 NWI 3 7 Haddock, Jr, Eric 12 Southeast Raleigh 46-07.75 NWI 2 8 Saddler, Richie 12 Greer 46-05.50 NWI 1
Miller's best qualifying leap measured 50 feet, 2 inches.
King has set some lofty goals for the months ahead, including hopes of competing in the NCAA championships next year as a college freshman. He also hopes to jump 53 feet in the not-to-distant future.
"That's always my top-end goal," he said. "It keeps me from putting a cap on myself and getting complacent."