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Prude struggles to clear the bar at NCAA Nationals

Friday, June 13, 2014

EUGENE, Oregon – Gemikal Prude concluded his second appearance at the NCAA Nationals after competing in the high jump finals Friday.

Prude prepared relentlessly all season, but came up short after failing to clear a height of 2.05 meters.

"Gemikal is a great athlete and person,” said Bill Taylor, director of track and field. “Not every day goes the way you want.

“Today was one of those days. He's had a terrific season, and we are proud of him."

Prude advanced to the finals in Eugene, Oregon after jumping 2.14 meters at the eastern preliminaries two weeks ago.

“Obviously we were expecting a better outcome today,” said Luke Syverson, assistant track and field coach. “We had a good lead up to the competition and felt we were ready.

“We struggled a bit being a little too close to the bar.”

Syverson feels Prude worked hard all season and his experience at nationals will prepare him well for next season.

“In the grand scheme, Gemikal had a great season and there were hundreds of jumpers who didn’t even make it this far,” Syverson said. “It is a great building and lead-off point to look forward to next year.”

Despite his scarce performance Friday, Prude was named honorable mention All-American and saw several highlights throughout the season leading up to nationals.

Prude broke both the indoor and outdoor school records in the high jump this season.

He broke the indoor school record with a mark of 2.20 meters while his leap of 2.21 meters crushed the outdoor school record.

Prude competed in the high jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships back in March where he finished ninth overall with a leap of 2.15 meters.