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Lewis’ record effort in pole vault earns him GNAC award

NAMPA, Idaho — Soaring higher than anyone else in Crusader history not only earned Payton Lewis a school record and a win in the pole vault Saturday, but also the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference honor of his collegiate career.

The freshman pole-vaulter from Nampa Christian High School cleared 16 feet, 9.25 inches to win that event at the Jackson’s Open indoor track and field meet on Saturday and earn GNAC co-Field Athlete of the Week honors, along with St. Martin’s high jumper Mikel Smith.

Lewis smashed the Northwest Nazarene indoor school record in the pole vault by more than a foot, besting the previous record of 15-9 set by his cousin, Preston Lewis, in 2005.

The Crusader freshman’s effort also bested the all-time school record — indoor or outdoor — of 16-1 set by Mark Unicume outdoors in 1984.

Lewis’ mark was also second-best all-time in the GNAC, indoors, and second best in the nation this year behind the 17-1 effort of Cole Phillips of Central Missouri, who cleared that height on Dec. 6.

And Lewis’ effort in his first collegiate meet is an NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark for the national championship meet to be held March 13-14 in Birmingham, Ala.

Lewis and the rest of the Crusader track and field team return to action next month, competing in the Ed Jacoby Invite and Combined indoor meet at the Ford Idaho Center on Jan. 16-17.

 

From: http://www.nnusports.com/news/2014/12/15/MTRK_1215143529.aspx

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