DES MOINES, Iowa-His second appearance in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships proved a successful one for ORU pole vaulter Jack Whitt as he bested the competition and won the 2012 National Championship.
The victory gives ORU its second outdoor track and field national championship, with Andretti Bain winning the 400m dash in 2008. It is also the fifth outdoor track and field national championship for the Summit League, and the third this year as Southern Utah's Cameron Levins won the 10,000m and 5,000m runs.
Whitt cleared the bar at 5.65m (18-6.5) to win the competition by four inches over Michael Woepse of UCLA. After passing at the first two heights of the competition, Whitt finally entered at 5.30m (17-4.5). After getting over that and the next height on his second attempt, he easily cleared 5.50m (18-0.5) on his first attempt. He missed at two inches higher and decided to pass his final two turns, moving up to the next height as the competition fell away.
Clearing 5.60m (18-4.5), Whitt was the only one to do so, and Woepse and Nic Weiler of Harvard, both of whom missed on their first attempts, decided to pass and try the next round. Whitt again cleared on his first attempt while the other two failed, then passed.
All three competitors missed on their first attempts at 5.70m (18-10.25), but with it being the third miss for Woepse and Weiler, Whitt was crowned the champion at the previous height. Just for good measure, Whitt tried his final two attempts at 5.75m (18-10.25), which would best his personal best and well surpass the Olympic "A" standard.
Whitt was unsuccessful at the height, but will take his national championship and compete in the Olympic Trials at the end of June, having hit the Olympic "A" Standard of 18-9 at a USATF Meet at the Chapman Indoor Facility last weekend.
The 10 team points Whitt garnered, along with the five from Clive Chafausipo's fourth-place finish in the long jump, gives ORU 15 teams points and has them in 11th overall in the team standings with one day of competition remaining, between Stanford and Florida State.