HENDERSON, Ky. — Jordan Scott had to build the suspense before he set a meet record in Saturday night’s Jammin’ and Jumpin’ Street Vault, and Mary Saxer took a relaxed approach to claim another “big” check from the event.
Scott, the 2010 NCAA pole vault champion from Kansas University, had to clear his final attempt at both at 17-10 1/2 and 18-2 1/2 before claiming the men’s title.
“I hadn’t made a third attempt in a while. When I made that first one, I was like ‘Oh, I can still do that,’” said Scott, who was the only male competitor to make 18-2 1/2 — the highest height to be cleared in the 6th annual meet on the Henderson riverfront. “I don’t like third attempts because you start thinking, ‘I can’t miss this.’ You can’t think negatively like that.”
With the prize money being split evenly between the men’s and women’s competitors this year, Scott took the $1,000 first-place prize for the men.
Saxer, who was the defending champion, claimed the top prize as the only female competitor to clear 14-7 1/2. The former Notre Dame vaulter, who finished fourth in the U.S. Olympic trials, sailed through her early attempts — making her first vaults at 13-11 1/4, 14-3 1/4 and 14-7 1/4.
“I had really had some tough situations to deal with the last couple of meets so my coach and I decided to go from a short run-up today, go with a smaller pole and treat this like a glorified practice,” Saxer said. “I came in with the mindset to relax and have fun.”
Her successful vault at 14-7 1/4 was a personal best from a short run-up.
Saxer missed on three attempts at 15-1 — a height she had cleared only twice in her career.
April Steiner Bennett, a 2004 Olympian, finished second, while 2011 NCAA champion Melissa Gergel was third. Both cleared 14-3 1/4. Former University of Louisville vaulter Andrea Sabbatine was fourth at 13-11 1/3.
In the men’s division, Chip Heuser of Louisville was second at 17-4 1/2. Mark Hollis of Elkhart, Ind., and Brian Hancock of Monroe City, Mo., tied for third at 16-10-3/4 inches.
Other division winners earlier on Saturday were: Kayla Carlie, 11-0; Cain Cooper, 13-6; Grant Kreiger, 15-6.
Paul Huzyak won the master’s division on Friday night with a vault of 15-6, topping his nearest competitor by two feet.
by: Kevin Patton