LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bison sophomore Melanie Buczko (Butler, Pa./Butler) will represent Bucknell in the pole vault competition this weekend at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Buczko will join an elite field of just 17 Division I athletes vying for All-America honors. Buczko is only the second Bison women in program history to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships after Jill Wise finished ninth in the triple jump at the 1988 championships.
Buczko, the Bucknell school-record holder in the event, is coming off another exceptional performance, winning the ECAC pole vault crown last weekend is Boston, Mass. Buczko’s leap of 12-9.50 was good for the win, four inches above the next-best competitior. The title is the second ECAC win of her career after winning the vault at last season’s outdoor championships.
Buczko secured her ticket to NCAAs on Feb. 25, at the NYU FasTimes Invitational in New York City, clearing a career-best height of 13-5.50 (4.10-meters). Buczko has impressed throughout the 2004-05 indoor season winning six competitions and finishing runner-up at two meets. She has also garnered several awards during the season including the Lewisburg Hotel Bison Athlete of the Week, the Patriot League Field Athlete of the Week, and the ECAC Field Athlete of the Week, all for the week of Jan. 24.
Buczko, who is making her second NCAA appearance after finishing 11th at last year’s outdoor championships, will face undoubtedly her toughest competition of the season this weekend. Buczko will be one of only four freshmen and sophomores on an experienced-packed list that includes top seed Kate Soma of Washington (14-3.50), a three-time All-American and Olympic Trials qualifier, two seed Lacy Janson (14-1.25) of Florida State, a four-time All-American, three-time ACC Indoor Champion and 2003 NCAA Indoor Champion, and Amy Linnen of Kansas (13-11.25), a former NCAA champion and NCAA indoor record holder.
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