AKRON, Ohio – Some of the best young pole vaulters in North America were on campus once again for the second annual Pole Vault Convention this weekend at Stile Athletics Field House.
Saturday night’s elite competition – featuring Olympic Team hopefuls, World Championship Team members and NCAA national champions – highlighted the three-day event as 2012 NCAA Outdoor Champion Jack Whitt broke the facility record with a jump of 18-04.75 to win the men’s title and 2013 U.S. Indoor and Outdoor runner-up Kylie Hutson jumped 14-04.00 to take the women’s crown.
The men’s competition featured four high flyers that cleared the 18-foot barrier as University of Akron sophomore and current Canadian record holder Shawn Barber, 2011 U.S. Indoor and 2010 U.S. Outdoor Champion Mark Hollis and former Division III national champion Jake Winder each jumped 18-00.50.
Whitt set the Field House record on his first attempt at 18-04.75 to win the competition before taking three shots at the world indoor qualifying standard of 18-10.25.
Also representing UA, junior and 2013 Decathlon All-American Alex McCune cleared 17 feet for the first time of his young pole vaulting career with a jump of 17-06.50.
Hutson passed on the opening height of 13-00.25, then went up and over the next three heights (13-06.25, 14-00.00 and 14-04.00) on her first attempt to win the competition. Division II record holder Katie Nageotte also cleared 14 feet on the women’s side in a runner-up finish.
The elite pole vault competition was the highlight of the three-day Pole Vault Convention – which is an all-inclusive pole vault experience for athletes, coaches and parents that features classroom sessions, learn-by-doing clinics, and competitions – at Stile Athletics Field House.
This year’s convention also included guest appearances by 2004 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Tim Mack and former American record holder Jeff Hartwig. Both Mack and Hartwig joined Dave Hunter from Track and Field News as commentators during the competition.
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