After winning SEC and NCAA titles, Sam Kendricks can add U.S. National Champion to his resume.
The Ole Miss junior capped off an impressive season, winning the men’s pole vault with a season best 18 feet, 10 1/4 inches at the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday in Sacramento, California.
“This is such an awesome experience,” the Oxford native said. “After the NCAA championship, I just wanted to come out here and jump and to be with these guys I’ve looked up to, it’s incredible.”
Only two men cleared 18-8 1/4, with Nike’s Mark Hollis – the 2010 outdoor champion – setting up the showdown with Kendricks. But Hollis failed to clear 18-101/4 on three attempts.
Kendricks is coming off 2014 SEC indoor and outdoor titles, as well as the 2014 NCAA outdoor crown. He fell short of winning the NCAA indoor title this season, taking the runner-up finish.
“He always competes his heart out for the Rebs, and for him to rattle off this string of wins at SECs, NCAAs and the U.S. Championships is an impressive addition to an already outstanding career,” Ole Miss head coach Brian O’Neal said. “It’s a fulfillment of all the hours of hard work that he’s put in this entire year.”
Additionally, former Rebel Brittney Reese won the gold in the women’s long jump (22 feet, 81/2 inches) on Saturday. The Gulfport native and London 2012 Olympic gold medalist claimed her sixth straight long-jump title at the U.S. Outdoor Championships.
Former Southern Miss star Tori Bowie won her semifinal heat in the 100 meters (10.91 seconds) on Friday but pulled out because of an apparent injury during the heat and did not compete in the finals.
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