Jessie Johnson made history over the weekend at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
The senior cleared a school-record 14 feet, 5.25 inches in the pole vault, which was the fifth-highest collegiate height this season. The vault qualified her for NCAA Indoor Championships and the U.S. Olympic Trials.
“I’m really proud of Jessie’s performance,” said Auburn head coach Ralph Spry. “She’s very competitive and to post a US Olympic Trials and school record mark on a big stage like the SEC meet is impressive. I look forward to seeing what she can do in two weeks at NCAAs.”
Johnson’s performance highlighted a disappointing weekend for Auburn in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The women placed 10th with 33 points, while the men came in 12th with 24 points.
“We had several bright spots on the weekend, but it wasn’t the type of meet we wanted from a team perspective,” Spry said. “We have a young team and we have a better team than we showed. We’re going to put this behind us and get ready for outdoors.”
Senior Shawn Johnson led the way for the men, earning silver in the high jump on Friday and in the triple jump on Saturday.
Johnson improved his score by 11 inches on his final attempt in the triple jump to lock up his second silver medal.
Michelle Atherley set a school record on Friday with a personal-best 4,148 points in the pentathlon, one of 18 personal records secured by Auburn at the meet.
The freshman posted her best mark in three of the five pentathlon events: high jump (5 feet, 10 inches), shot put (46 feet, 6.75 inches) and the 800-meter run (2 minutes, 17 seconds).
Senior Samantha Scarlett placed fourth in the 60-meter dash for the fourth consecutive year, while Marshay Ryan finished fifth in the women’s triple jump.
The top 16 marks nationally in each event will advance to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham on March 11-12. While some have already locked up invitations, several Auburn athletes must wait for results from other conference championships this week to see if they will attend.