Despite being bothered by a cramp, junior Dora Gyorffy won the high jump title at the NCAA Championships Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark., jumping to a height of 1.94 meters.
Gyorffy, who was the runner-up at the NCAAs last year, outdid the next highest jumper, Carrie Long of Purdue, who jumped 1.87 meters.
"I was very happy to get the title although I have to say I was very confident going into the meet," Gyorffy said. "I was in really great shape."
Just two weeks ago Gyorffy, who was Harvard's only representative at the NCAAs, tied the NCAA high jump record at the Heptagonal Championships, with a jump of 1.97 meters. At that meet, a torn shoe kept Gyorffy from attempting all of her rounds at the next highest height, and so she was stopped prematurely.
This weekend Gyorffy was looking to do what she couldn't do at Heps and break the NCAA record. However, with another stroke of bad luck, she got a cramp in her left calf as she made her first attempt at 1.90 meters. While she was disappointed not to be able to break the record, she said she was happy that she did as well as she did despite the cramp.
"I can still hardly believe that I made 1.94 meters with it," Gyorffy said. "I was hoping I could improve my PR [personal record] from Heps when I equaled the collegiate record," Gyorffy said. "I feel without the cramp I could have gotten [the record], but now it will keep me motivated for the outdoor season and make me work even harder."
The past few weeks have seen Gyorffy break through to an even higher level than her already excellent standing in the collegiate high jump world.
"She is very confident in her own abilities," said Harvard Assistant Coach Paul Turner. "She has moved to a whole new level, and she finally realizes that."