FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Junior Natalia Bartnovskaya smashed her own school pole vault record as the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams competed on day one of the Tyson Invitational Friday. Bartnovskaya claimed her fifth-consecutive pole vault win with her mark that is five inches better than the previous school record.
Bartnovskaya, who hails from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, entered the competition inside the Randal Tyson Center already holding a share of the school’s top vault after clearing 4.30 meters (14-1.25 ft.) last week at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York City. She began the day Friday on a shaky note, fouling on her very first attempt at 3.83 meters (12-6.75 ft.), but the junior then rattled of five-consecutive clearances without a failed attempt to shoot herself up the leaderboard.
After clearing 4.33 meters (14-2.5 ft.) Bartnovskaya was one of only two left standing as she was joined by former Arkansas national champion and the current NCAA-record holder, Tina Sutej, who was competing unattached. After two-near makes, Bartnovskaya slid over the 4.43 meter (14-6.25 ft.) with just millimeters to spare, clinching the victory over the three-time Arkansas All-American and snagging the new school record.
The record mark elevates Bartnovskaya to No. 8 on the all-time NCAA pole vault list and No. 2 in the nation this year. She will also enter the Big 12 Championship meet in two weeks boasting a streak of five-consecutive pole vault victories.