Funmilayo Jimoh had waited a long time for a national title in the women’s long jump, and it finally came at the U.S. Indoor Championships Saturday in Boston. The 30-year-old was a five-time U.S. outdoor bronze medalist and three-time indoor bronze medalist before her 6.37 meter leap put her atop the podium. She added jumps of 6.36 and 6.32 that would have still defeated second-place Julienne McKee (6.25) and third-place Jessie Gaines (6.23).
Manteo Mitchell won his first individual U.S. championship, taking home the gold in the 300 meters. The 27-year-old from Western Carolina was a world indoor gold medalist in the 4-by-400 relay and Olympic silver medalist in the same event. Saturday, his 32.86 bested Clayton Parros (33.00) and William Shell (33.09).
“I went out there and left it all out there,” Mitchell said. “As 400 runners we love it (the 300), but going into outdoors it’s a good indicator of what you’re going to run. I’m happy, I’m like a kid in a candy store right now, I’m just excited to be a U.S. champion for once in my life.”
Mitchell said he didn’t plan on running indoors this season, but after a couple of meets with 32-second finishes, he reconsidered.
“When I heard there were going to be three or four indoor races, my coach and I jumped right on it,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes afterwards, I’m hoping for a really good season.”
Competing for the first time this season, Erik Kynard repeated his title in the high jump at 2.34 meters to edge Ricky Robertson (2.31). Three-time champion Jesse Williams and former University of Arizona jumper Nick Ross tied for third at 2.28.
“I’m trying to get the kinks out,” said the Olympic silver medalist Kynard. “I’m here without a coach right now, he’s at the conference meet at Kansas State. I’d like to take that American record down, I tried last year a few times, but I want to continue to compete at a high level.”
In the women’s 300, Natasha Hastings added another championship to her 2011 title in 36.52 seconds, after going neck-and-neck with Jessica Beard (36.65). Shapri Romero was third in 37.44 seconds.
Christian Cantwell, the 34-year-old three-time world indoor champion, picked up his fifth U.S. gold in the shot put at 20.41 meters, breaking a four-way tie for third all-time behind Pat McDonald’s 11 and Parry O’Brien’s nine. The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Cantwell also won the event in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2010, in addition to three outdoor U.S. titles, the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics, and the gold at the 2009 Berlin World Championships.
Sam Kendricks won the pole vault at 5.76 meters, with former Arizona State vaulter Derick Hinch eighth at 5.35, Shannon Rowbury won the women’s mile in 4:34.40, and Ryan Hill won the men’s two mile in 8:26.72. Action will continue from Boston on Sunday with NBCSN having TV coverage from 4-6 p.m. ET.