FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-The lone Oral Roberts representative at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship, Jack Whitt claimed second in the pole vault on Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Whitt moved up one place from his third-place finish at the indoor championships a year ago, but had higher hopes after winning the outdoor national championship. With the finish, Whitt has now earned All-American honors six times and has never finished lower than sixth at an NCAA Championship.
Passing at two of the first three heights, Whitt cruised early on, missing just once on his first five attempts, becoming one of just four people to clear 5.60m (18-4 ½). In order to win, Whitt would have had to shatter his own school and Southland record that he set two weeks ago at the Southland Conference Championships (5.61m).
With the defending indoor champion from Arkansas, Andrew Irwin, getting stronger and clearing each of the next two heights on his first attempt, Whitt had no choice but to pass and wait for Irwin to miss. He finally did so at 18-10 ¼, which would be five inches above the recent record so Whitt took to the runway again hoping his strategy would pay off.
Whitt was unable to clear the bar on his attempts, and took silver with a final height of 18-4 ½, while Irwin successfully defended his indoor title at 18-8 ¼.
Whitt and the Golden Eagles will now turn their attention to the outdoor season as they face Tulsa on March 16 for the Tulsa Duels.