RIO DE JANIERO – Former Ole Miss star Sam Kendricks qualified first for Monday’s 12-man pole vault finals by clearing 5.70 meters on Saturday night at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Eight other competitors reached the 5.70-meter mark, including France’s Renaud Lavillenie, who holds the highest jump in the world this year at 5.96 meters. Kendricks, an Oxford resident, is second with a 5.92 and Canada’s Shawnacy Barber ranks third at 5.91 meters.
“I strive to be very consistent at the bars that are important in a competition like this and I was tonight,” said Kendricks, winner at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Kendricks was the only competitor to have no misses in qualifying.
Kendricks won two national championships during his three seasons with the Rebels. He won the U.S. trials with a meet-record 19-feet-4 3/4 that broke a 12-year-old mark held by Tim Mack. Mack earned a goal medal in the 2004 Olympic Games after setting his mark.