TRACK AND FIELD: McPherson, dressed as Power Ranger, second at Drake Relays

Published 5:19 pm Saturday, April 28, 2018

Inika McPherson took her fashion game to another level Saturday.

While at it, she nearly won gold.

The 2016 Olympic high jumper originally from Port Arthur cleared 6 feet, 3.25 inches, while wearing a black Power Ranger suit to finish second behind Vashti Cunningham on Friday in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Cunningham cleared 1 inch higher.

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McPherson, 31, a 2005 Memorial High graduate, posted photos of her jump (two of them branded with the USA Track and Field logo) on Facebook.

“When you have #fun doing what you #Love #stepoutofyourcomfortzone #stepoutthebox #livelifefree #love #beahero for someone who needs it #believeinyourself #highjumpqueen what happens on earth stays on earth,” McPherson said at the beginning of her post.

McPherson told the mask from her suit made it tough to breathe and see the bar.

“This is what I tell kids,” she told the website. “I was like, ‘Hey. You can’t be the same person you are at home when you’re like being (very) cool. You’ve got to be your alter ego.”

Cunningham’s jump is tied for second-best in the world. St. Lucian Levern Spencer jumped 6 feet, 4.75 inches, or 1.95 meters on the Australian Gold Coast on April 14.

McPherson’s jump ranks tied for fifth this year.

Saturday was the final day of the Drake Relays, and it came on the 50th anniversary of a plane crash at the Beaumont Municipal Airport that claimed the lives of five Lamar mile relay runners — John Richardson of Port Neches, Waverly Thomas of Galveston, Mike Favazza of Houston, Don DeLaune of La Marque and Randy Clewis of Palestine — coach Ty Terrell and pilot E. Winston McCall. The team was returning from competing in the Drake Relays.

Terrell, a former Thomas Jefferson High School coach, lived in Beaumont, as did McCall.

— I.C. Murrell

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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