BYU high jumper Cierra Tidwell-Allphin continues to raise the bar on the road to nationals

At 1:37 p.m. on Feb. 25, a burst of cheers erupted in the Smith Fieldhouse as Cierra Tidwell-Allphin cleared 6 feet, 1.5 inches in the indoor high jump, and secured her spot at nationals for the second straight year. The jump moved her up to tie for the second-highest jump of all time.

“I definitely feel like I’m back to where I was and now, I can just progress from here,” Tidwell said. “I would love to get 6’2” this season and for my last season, the goal is to go for the school record.”

In the 2022 NCAA Indoor National Championships, the junior from Mesa, Arizona tied for eighth with a jump of 1.78m/5-10. March 11, 2023 marked her consecutive appearance in the National Championships, jumping 1.82-meters/5-11.5. to maintain the No. 8 rank in the nation and earn indoor First Team All-American honors for a second year.

“That consistency is an amazing achievement. Not a lot of people can say they’re that consistent in such a volatile thing,” Tidwell’s husband, Ransom Allphin said. “I want her to achieve top five, kind of the next step and I think the goal is just moving up that ladder in the national performance.” 

Currently standing at No. 9 nationally in the outdoor high jump from her 2022 season jump of 1.80m/5-10.75, Tidwell looks to move up in rank this June at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships.

The 5’8” junior’s advancements in national ranking hold impressive value as the bar is set much higher than previous years.

“Ladies got in last year at jumping 6 feet. This year, nobody will get in under 6’1”. It’s just ridiculous the level of competition,” BYU associate head coach Mark Robison said.

“It’s fun to be a part of the program right now, competing with the best.” Tidwell said. “I’ve been on a steady progression, so my plan is to stay with what I’ve been doing, training hard and experimenting with different cues and changing different things about my high jump to see if it helps me jump higher.”

Tidwell established herself as a podium finisher for BYU in her sophomore season, advancing to nationals to earn First Team All-American honors for indoor high jump and Second Team All-American Honors for outdoor high jump.

“Cierra’s one of the best high jumpers that we’ve ever had at BYU. She is really good at processing and learning,” Robison said. “I’m pleased with just her hard work, her effort in both the physical and the mental aspect of high jumping.”

Long before jumping at BYU, the All-American became familiar with the podium as a three-time state champion in high school.

“I actually found high jump in eighth grade. I didn’t really know what it was before then,” Tidwell said. “I decided to do cross country, rolled over to track and then I found high jump and I just fell in love with it.”

“It’s not something she has to force herself to do. She’s able to put in that time and effort to perfect her jumps because she loves it and also because she likes to succeed,” Allphin said. 

With the conclusion of this season, BYU will move into the Big 12 Conference with an opportunity for athletes to reach full potential.

“Looking on to my senior year, I’m really pumped to get into the Big 12,” Tidwell said. “It’s super competitive and I feel like it’s like great timing because hopefully that’s when I’m at my best.”

“She is in the best shape of her life physically and skills are starting to come together,” Coach Robison said.

The Wildlife & Wildlands Conservation major has continually risen to occasion, hitting new records motivated by love for the event, supportive coaches and family, and a healthy lifestyle. 

“Cierra’s always healthy. She’s really dedicated to keeping her body in shape or in good conditions to get the best performance,” Allphin said.

Above all, Tidwell credits divine guidance for her achievements in the sport.

“The most valuable thing that this sport has given me is a stronger relationship with my Heavenly Father,” Tidwell said. “I know that He’s the reason that I found this sport and I’ve been able to see what He’s capable of and how He can turn us into stronger disciples.”

Life after BYU for Tidwell holds ambitions to transition from jumping to coaching as inspired by some of her mentors.

“I would love to be a high jump coach,” Tidwell said. “My coach in high school was someone I really looked up to; we were really close. I want to be that role model for someone else.”

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