Jade Riebold and Mick Viken are on familiar ground.

But they are also pretty familiar with the air too.

For the third straight year, the two athletes will compete at the NCAA national championships in the pole vault competition.

Eastern pole vault coach Kyle Ellis plans to hold a tough week of practice after tapering off the workload last week ahead of the regional meet in Austin, Texas.

“We are going to try to squeeze as much training in as we can this week,” Ellis said.

Ellis said the Eastern athletes are going to have a last set of practices before easing into the practices on-location in Eugene, Ore., before the national meet.

Riebold and Viken are both going to be at the meet for their third consecutive years.  Both athletes are also Eastern transfer students.

Viken, a redshirt-junior and 2nd team All-American in 2012, knows that he is up against some tough competition next week.

“It’s probably going to take a personal best for me to go All-American again,” Viken said.

He enters the competition ranked 10th with a jump of 17.7 feet (5.40 meters).  The top 11 pole vault competitors exited regional competition at this height.

A jump of 18.8 feet (5.75 meters) was enough to win the NCAA national title last year for Oral Robert’s Jack Whitt who enters this year’s competition ranked fourth.

Viken suffered a hamstring injury at the Ohio Valley Conference meet and had not jumped before the regional competition on Saturday.  Despite this setback, Viken said he feels sure it will not hold him back.  It is a long season and Viken said he feels like injuries come with the territory of being a professional athlete.

“Everybody has little things.  Everybody is dealing with different things,” Viken said.

He said it is important to approach a meet like this as he would any normal meet.

“I’m going to stick to the things that I know best,” Viken said.

Riebold, also a 2nd team All-American in 2012, made her final jump on Friday following a rain delay.

Her final jump put her at 13.5 feet (4.11 meters).  The entire top 11 made jumps of that height as well.

She enters the national meet ranked seventh.

Riebold did not practice on Monday because she was suffering from an illness that appeared some time after the regional meet.  The nature of the sickness was not disclosed.

“We backed off going into regionals to get her body to feel better and to feel fresh,” Ellis said of Riebold.

Her sickness should not hinder her ability to compete at nationals.

An Eastern press release reported that junior Jalisa Paramore and senior Dominique Hall were both eliminated before the 100-meter semi-finals.

Sophomore Maura Cummins was eliminated in the high jump and finished 26th in the meet.

Sophomore David Johansson scratched from the competition on Monday night, finishing 48th in the javelin throw.

Freshman Calvin Edwards finished 48th in the men’s 20-meter dash.

In the steeplechase, senior Britney Whitehead finished 13th in her heat in a race which finished just after midnight on Sunday morning following rain delays.

The meet is scheduled to take place June 5-8 at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

The athletes will leave June 3rd.

From: http://www.dennews.com/sports/panthers-vault-to-nationals/article_c9074f24-c747-11e2-9076-0019bb30f31a.html

EIU Vaulter Magazine
EIU Vaulter Magazine

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