That’s something pole vaulters experience every time they fight to get over the bar, but for Carroll College’s Easton Padden it means something entirely different.
The junior from Laurel cleared 17 feet, 0.75 inches on Friday night to win the Montana State Open in Bozeman and moved out of a tie for first on the NAIA performance list with a lifetime best. Capital High graduate Ryan Kropp, a sophomore at Montana State, was second with a season best of 15-11. Carroll’s Josh Seeburger was fifth at 14-5.25.
Padden, already a three-time All-American, was second at last year’s indoor national championships and sixth at the outdoor championships.
He will compete next at the NAIA indoor championships Feb. 28-March 2 in Geneva, Ohio.
Carroll didn’t have any other winners Friday night, but five others posted runner-up finishes and several Saints snuck into the top five.
In the women’s pole vault, Marisa Arneson earned an NAIA automatic qualifier with a clearance of 11-9.75 to finish second.
Jordan Mathes posted a season best in the women’s mile with a time of 5:09.76, well under the NAIA automatic qualifying time of 5:11.40, which she had previously achieved with altitude adjustment.
Fellow distance runners Hanna Hafner and Shelby Sweeney finished first and second in the women’s 3,000 with NAIA qualifying times of 10:22.86 and 10:29.80, respectively.
Also on the women’s side, Kathleen Mulligan solidified her automatic qualification in the triple jump with a runner-up finish at 38-8.25, Ashley Medeiros placed third in the shot put with a provisional qualifier of 41-4.25, Latecia Howell was third in the long jump (17-8.25), Sandy Torres and Bailey Hughes placed fourth (2:19.15, provisional qualifier) and fifth (2:20.58) in the 800, and Lindsay Trollope was fourth in the 55 (7.53).
Back on the men’s side, Brian Ustick placed second in the 200 (22.23) to go along with a fourth-place showing in the 55 (6.59), and Stephen Delaney, who leads the nation in the long jump at 24-9, placed third in the 400 (49.09, provisional qualifier) and fourth in the 55 hurdles (7.90).
In the 800, Troy Solly and Derrick Williams ran automatic qualifying times, finishing in third and fourth, respectively, with times of 1:52.85 and 1:53.62.
The only other top-five finisher for the Carroll men was Sancho Ridesatthedoor, who placed fourth in the 3,000 with a time of 8:58.61. Hugh Pratt was sixth in the shot put at 44-4.
Montana’s Matt Barker, a Helena High graduate, placed third in the mile (4:20.26).
Carroll is scheduled to take next week off.
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