Sam Houston State sophomore Clayton Fritsch is now a budding international track and field star.

Fritsch won the pole vault competition for Team USA at the 2019 U-23 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association Championships Sunday in Querétaro, Mexico. His mark of 18 feet, 4 ½ inches also set the meet record.

“I’m super excited,” Fritsch said. “Anytime you get to put on that USA gear it’s an amazing accomplishment in its self. And to break a record in that uniform is absolutely insane. It definitely gives you a great feeling of pride to do it for your country.”

Fritsch’s teammate, Kansas freshman Zach Bradford, also cleared 18 feet, 4 ½ inches, but it was on his second attempt which gave Fritsch the lead after he cleared that height on his first vault. Both missed all three attempts at the next height to seal the victory for Fritsch.

Rice freshman Natan Rivera from El Salvador placed third (16 feet, 9 inches).

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