Markus Ballengee high jumped 6-6.25 during his successful opening day on Thursday.
Making his debut at the USATF Outdoor Championships on Thursday at Drake Stadium, Liberty sophomore Markus Ballengee sits seventh in the decathlon standings with 3,794 points through five events.
Two weeks after earning first team All-America honors with his seventh-place finish in the NCAA decathlon final, Ballengee returned to action. His performance largely paralleled his opening day in Eugene, as Ballengee currently sits just 57 points behind his pace from that meet.
Some third-attempt magic during the middle part of his day bolstered Ballengee's score. His third and final shot put heave measured 43-10.75, marking the Virginia native's best throw within any of his seven career decathlon competitions to date.
Ballengee then made third-attempt high jump clearances at 6-4, 6-5 and 6-6.25, the last of which placed him fourth among the 16 decathletes for the event.
Ballengee is one of five collegiate performers who currently rank among the top seven decathletes in the overall standings. However, it is 2016 Rio Olympian Zach Ziemek who leads the way with 4,169 points at the midway point.
On Friday, Ballengee will attempt to replicate his second-day charge from the NCAA meet, when he climbed from 17th place to seventh. The event's top five finishers will earn invitations to next month's Thorpe Cup competition against Germany's decathletes.
Senior Brenna Smith wrapped up her collegiate career with a 16th-place finish in Thursday's women's javelin competition. The two-time Big South champion and school record holder reached 149-7 on her top attempt of the afternoon.
Kara Winger took home her eighth USATF women's javelin title with a big throw of 206-3 in the final round.
Up Next Ballengee will resume the decathlon competition with the 110 hurdles, Friday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
Senior Darrel Jones is entered in the men's triple jump, slated for a 6:30 p.m. Eastern start on Friday.
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