EUGENE, Ore. – Two of Oregon’s pole vaulters set personal bests and all four Duck vaulters cleared set seasonal bests on a day of highlights before a sun-drenched 5,244 fans Friday at the Oregon Twilight.
“This is one of my favorite events with the kids’ half lap, the middle school mile, and the last races for the seniors,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “I have to admit I got a little emotional when they were listing off all of the girls’ accomplishments.”
On a night were Oregon honored its 19 seniors before an appreciative Historic Hayward Field, the Ducks were particularly impressive in both pole vaults.
Sammie Clark set a personal best in winning the women’s pole vault with a clearance at 13-6.25/4.12m. Not only was that a one inch improvement for the junior from North Bend, Ore., but she also moved up to a tie for fifth on Oregon’s all-time list.
“The conditions were perfect, definitely the best all year,” said Clark. “I didn’t want the scene to go away. The fans were great, too.
“I definitely had a rough start (to the season) because I no-heighted my first three meets but that only inspired me. I’m excited about the future.”
The Duck men went 1-2 in their competition. Matt Hidalgo won after a third attempt clearance at 17-0.25/5.20m. The freshman from Banks, Ore., set a personal best by five inches.
“It felt amazing,” said Hidalgo, who became the first Duck to clear 17-0 since 2010 (Colin Witter-Tilton). “It’s always fun to jump well.
Teammate Austin Ouderkirk was second in the pole vault at 16-8.75/5.10m, as the senior from Newport, Ore., set a seasonal best in his final appearance at Historic Hayward Field. Even senior decathlete Kevin Godfrey got in on the act with a seasonal best clearance at 15-5/4.70m that was good for fifth.
“The conditions were perfect; 70 degrees, tail-wind, sunny,” said Ouderkirk. “It was a dream. It is always amazing to jump here at Hayward. There is definitely some Hayward magic. The fans were great, they know a lot.”