University of Akron sophomore Matt Ludwig following in footsteps of former Zips great Shawn Barber as NCAA pole vault champion

The University of Akron claimed another NCAA championship in the men’s pole vault last week.

No, three-time champion Shawn Barber hasn’t returned. Instead, UA track and field coach Dennis Mitchell has developed yet another champion in Matthew Ludwig.

Ludwig won the title by clearing 18-4½ on his third attempt at the NCAA Championships Thursday in Eugene, Ore.

Heading into the meet, Ludwig was tied for the second-best mark in the country. Even so, he said he didn’t think many coaches considered him a favorite heading into the event.

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