FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Three Wildcats traveled to Fayetteville to compete at the Arkansas Final Qualifier in an attempt to move up the NCAA rankings and qualify for the NCAA Championship next week, and junior pole vaulter Kyle Wait succeeded in breaking a school record and putting himself in position for an NCAA bid.
Wait broke the K-State school record with a vault of 5.45 meters (17-10.50), clearing the height on his third attempt. Entering the meet Wait was tied for 19th in the NCAA and the height of 5.45 meters was 11th. The top 16 athletes will go on to the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Arkansas next week, and Wait’s clearance of 5.45 meters nearly solidifies his spot at the championship meet. He was eliminated attempting 5.65 meters (18-06.50) after passing two heights. If he had cleared 5.65 meters, Wait would have been No. 1 in the NCAA this season.
“Kyle had a very impressive performance,” K-State Head Coach Cliff Rovelto said. “It is very tough to do that in these last chance type meets.”
K-State assistant coach for pole vault Kyle Hierholzer said Wait was able to enjoy the moment and did not put pressure on himself, which allowed him to break the school record and put himself into a position to qualify for his first NCAA indoor championship.
“I thought it was very special. It’s hard to come to a last chance meet and perform at a high level, especially after the stress of a conference championship the week before and considering our travel,” Hierholzer said. “Kyle stayed relaxed and had fun today. He just flat out enjoyed himself out there. I think he took three really good attempts at 5.65 and should be confident heading into the NCAA meet.”