DELAWARE, Ohio – The good news is Linfield’s Catherine Street topped her own school record in the pole vault and earned All-America honors for the second time in her career. The bad news is she barely missed out on claiming the individual championship in her event Friday at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Selby Field & George Gauthier Track on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan University.
Street cleared the bar at 13 feet, 7 inches (4.14m) to better her previous standard by 1¾ inch. Both she and the meet champion, Abigail Schaffer of Moravian, reached the same height, but Schaffer earned the win by virtue of fewer misses. The junior from Moravian also won the national title in the pole vault at the indoor championships back in March.
The winning height was a Division III championship meet record, breaking the previous standard of 4.13 meters set by Anna Helm of Moravian in 2010.
A national title once again eluded Street, who placed third as a freshman in 2009 and failed to record a mark at last year’s championship meet. This year, she entered the competition with the field's best mark.
Street opened at 3.74 meters and did not miss until the bar climbed to 3.94. She also knocked down the bar twice at 4.04. Schaffer opened at 3.84 and only missed once, at 4.04 meters. Both women missed all three attempts at 4.24 meters, which would have broken the all-time Division III record.
Aside from Street and Schaffer, only one other competitor cleared the bar over 13 feet: Karin Fisher of MIT placed third at 13 feet, 3 inches.
Teammate Anna LaBeaume (Sr., Sequim, Wash.) also competed at the national championship meet, finishing 12th in the shot put. She placed two spots higher than expected as she came into the meet as the 14th-seeded competitor.
Her throw of 43 feet, 5¼ inches was more than a foot off her best collegiate effort (44-9½) yet still ranks as one of the top-10 best throws in Linfield history. Her personal best ranks No. 3 all-time.
Competing in the preliminaries only, LaBeaume fairly recorded two throws but fouled on her second attempt.
Jecel Gerner of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the shot put with a heave of 49 feet, 7 inches. The sophomore was runner-up in 2010 and came into this year’s national meet seeded seventh.
NEXT: Competition continues Saturday, when Kate Shear (Sr., Knappa, Ore.) will challenge for All-America status in the javelin. Her event is set to begin at 9 a.m. PDT.
Broke school pole vault record for fourth time this season
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