CLAREMONT, Calif. – Surely, only a special minority of athletes can say they capped off their collegiate careers exactly the way they had hoped or envisioned. Count Catherine Street among the elite. The Linfield senior captured her second national pole vaulting crown Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships, held at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ Burns Track Complex.
Street now boasts two NCAA individual championships after claiming the indoor title earlier this year, and is a seven-time All-American.
Making matters doubly sweet for the Wildcats was the performance of Misty Corwin, who become a two-time All-American with her eighth-place finish.
Street was the only competitor to clear the bar at 13 feet, 9¼ inches (4.20 meters), an effort that not only won her the national crown, but also set a national championship meet record. The previous record was set just last year by outdoor defending champion Abby Schaffer of Moravian, who finished second this year.
Not to be rushed on her way to greatness, an extremely patient Street bid her time. She passed on every height until 13-1½ (4.00 m), when just four of 22 competitors remained in the hunt. She missed just twice on her way to 13-9¼, both times at 13-5¼.
Schaffer, the all-time Division III record holder (a title she swiped from Street, who had held it less than a day, earlier this season), missed all three of her attempts at 13-9¼ to finish as the national runner-up.
With Schaffer out of the way, Street attempted a national-record height of 14 feet even (4.27 m), but missed on all three tries.
Corwin, meanwhile, nearly matched a career-best while clearing the bar at 12-5½. She returned to the medal stand for the first time in two years after missing the national meet altogether last season as a junior. Corwin actually tied with MIT’s Lauren Kuntz in terms of height, but the Wildcat was awarded eighth place by virtue of fewer misses.