DES MOINES, Iowa – It would hardly be a USA Track & Field Championships now without a victory from Husky great Brad Walker. A fifth U.S. Outdoor pole vault title for Walker was sealed on Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, with Walker now set to head to the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.
A two-time Olympian, former World Championships gold medalist, and the American record-holder, Walker continued to add to his long list of achievements with another national championship. He passed up to 18-2 1/2, then cleared that on his second attempt. Passing again up to 18-6 1/2, Walker made that on his first try, which proved to be the clincher. Only one other vaulter made that height, and Jeremy Scott did it after one miss. Scott went out at the next bar, Walker passed up to 19-0 1/4, but missed his three jumps there.
“It’s a little lower than I would have liked,” said Walker after his win. “It was a little bit harder today to jump than I thought it was going to be. It was a good wind, but it was hard to gauge like a repeatable, easy run. I made 5.65 meters, first attempt, when nobody made the next bars, they just went up to 5.8 meters to try and get a good bar. I made a team, relief that I did, but not so pumped about it. I would have liked to have gotten the next bar (5.8 meters) and taken shots at 6.0 meters.”
Also returning to action on Friday was Jeremy Taiwo, in the thick of another decathlon less than two weeks after his big PR and runner-up finish at his final NCAA Championships. After day one, Taiwo sits in fourth-place overall with 4,115 points. He had solid marks in each event, but no personal-bests. Taiwo started with a 10.98 time in the 100-meters, struggled a bit in the long jump at 22- 1/4, but came back strong in the shot put at 44-2 1/2. His high jump of 6-9 3/4 was second overall, but a low mark by his own standards. But his 400-meter time of 48.30 was one of his fastest career runs.