Robinson makes it four with latest NCAA championship

Cirrus Robinson clears 5-7, winning her fourth national championship in the high jump (two outdoor and two indoor).

Cirrus Robinson ’21 successfully defended her national championship in the high jump at the NCAA Division III outdoor championship meet on May 24 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Robinson cleared the first five heights on her first try, and when the bar moved to 5-8, seven jumpers remained. All seven competitors missed all three of their attempts at 5-8, and Robinson won the national championship based on the fewest missed attempts.

“This was the largest (finals) field I’ve been a part of, and at that point I was pretty pleased as far as (the height),” Robinson says. “Watching the dominoes fall, and knowing it was such a strong field and still being able to pull this off was very rewarding.”

The national championship was Robinson’s second in the outdoor high jump and her fourth overall, including two national titles in the indoor high jump. The four national titles is the highest total by an Ohio Wesleyan woman and ties Keith Rucker ’92 with the most in Ohio Wesleyan history. Robinson is a five-time All-America honoree in the high jump.

“She was working to overcome some doubt after the indoor (national championship meet in March), when she was ranked first and had a big target on her back but had a rough day,” says Track & Field Head Coach Kris Boey. “That happens sometimes, but she worked very hard at overcoming that during the outdoor season. We also went back and worked on fundamentals, and her willingness to embrace that says a lot about her maturity.”

“I think this was the most satisfying (of the four national championships), because I’ve worked so hard for some sort of comeback,” Robinson says. “This has been a season of doubt (for me) in the high jump, so this is very rewarding.”

Robinson won the 2018 outdoor national championship with a jump of 5-8½ at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. In that meet, she cleared her first five jumps to get to 5-6 unscathed, then cleared 5-7¼ on her final attempt to remain alive as the field narrowed to five competitors. After a weather delay, she cleared 5-8½ on her last chance, while the remaining four competitors each missed all three attempts at that height.

“The competition has played out differently in each of the four titles she has won,” says Boey. “Last year was ultra-dynamic, and this year she was in the driver’s seat all the way through. “Four national titles is pretty spectacular with a senior year still in front of her,” says Boey. “She’s only the fourth woman to repeat as Division III outdoor high jump champion, and to win four and have the opportunity for more to come is pretty special.”

Story by Mark Beckenbach

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