Making his USATF Outdoor Championships debut, Waters, a 2018 Liberty alum, made clutch third-attempt clearances at each of his first two heights (17-11 and 18-3). The St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., native then missed three attempts at a new personal-best height of 18-6.75, bowing out of a competition which later saw Sam Kendricks vault an American-record 19-10.5.
Waters continued an impressive first year of post-collegiate competition which has seen him add a foot (going from 17-5 to 18-5.5) to his best pole vault clearance at Liberty. The four-time Big South Conference men’s pole vault champion also placed fourth at the World University Games earlier this month, representing the USA Team.
Waters’ lofty finish on Saturday may give him another opportunity to wear a USA uniform this summer. He will now be one of the athletes considered for the Europe vs. USA Match, Sept. 9-10 in Minsk, Belarus.
Competing in the USATF Outdoor Championships men’s triple jump for the second straight year on Friday, 2018 Liberty graduate Darrel Jones came in 15th. The Monroe, N.Y., native’s top mark measured 49-4.5.
Like Waters, Jones has improved his personal best by more than a foot (51-10.5 to 53-1.5) during his first post-collegiate season. He also recorded a sixth-place finish in the men’s triple jump at the 2019 USATF Indoor Championships during February and came in 11th at the World University Games.