Cal Track: Inika McPherson 2nd in High Jump at U.S. Trials - Olympic Status Uncertain

The 34-year-old Cal grad hoping her world ranking sends her to the Games in Tokyo.
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Former Cal star Inika McPherson finished second in the high jump at the Olympic track and trials Sunday, earning a provisional spot on the U.S. team.

McPherson, 34, cleared a season-best 6 feet, 4 inches (1.93 meters) but the standard for competing at the Games in Tokyo is 6-5 (1.96) and she does not have that mark.

So McPherson must wait to find out if she earns a spot based on the World Athletics' points ranking system. She entered the U.S. trials at No. 27 and will get a boost based on her performance at Oregon’s Hayward Field.

Kimberly Holland, who serves as McPherson’s manager, said she believes the 2009 Cal grad has “a reasonable chance” of securing an Olympic berth. For now, at least, her status is uncertain.

McPherson competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and finished in a tie for 10th place. She hopes to become the only Cal athlete to make the U.S. Olympic track team, although two-time reigning NCAA hammer throw champion Camryn Rogers is regarded as virtually certain to represent her native Canada.

Vashti Cunningham, daughter of former NFL star Randall Cunningham, won her third straight U.S. outdoor title with a jump of 6-5. She is the world leader and will go to Tokyo.

Inika McPherson shows frustration after missing her third attempt at 6-5.

Inika McPherson shows some frustration after missing three times at 6-foot-5.

McPherson passed on the opening height of 5-9 3/4 (1.77) then got over the bar at 5-11 1/2 (1.82) on her first attempt. She ran into some trouble at 6-1 1/2 (1.87), needing a third-attempt clearance to move forward.

But she sailed over 6-2 3/4 (1.90) and 6-4 (1.93) on her first attempts, giving her en edge over eventual third-place finisher Nicole Greene, who finished with a three-inch personal-best of 6-4.

McPherson missed all three of her attempts at 6-5, although she made a good effort on the last try.

Neither McPherson nor Greene has the Olympic standard, so fourth-place finisher Rachel McCoy, who does have that standard and cleared 6-4 on Sunday, hopes she can sneak in based on world-rankings points.

McCoy is No. 19 in the current rankings whileGreene is well back at No. 64.

Cal volunteer assistant coach Tianna Bartoletta, the reigning Olympic champion in the long jump, was eliminated from the 100 meters on Saturday when she finished seventh in her semifinal heat after running 11.09 seconds.

Former LSU star Sha’Carri Richardson won the women’s 100 final in 10.86.

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo