June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Oregon - Rice junior Chris Pillow tied his lifetime best mark with a vault of 5.50m to earn a seventh place tie and USTFCCCA First-Team All-American honors on day one of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at historic Hayward Field.
"Chris just competed in what was one of the best pole vault competitions in NCAA history," Rice men's track & field head coach Jon Warren said. "He had a great series and really performed well. Eighteen feet has won many, many NCAA national championships and this year it took that to finish in the top nine. The way he performed and responded when he had to was truly outstanding. He did Rice proud today."
Pillow, a junior and native of Mechanicsville, Virginia, became the first Owl to earn First-Team All-American honors since Jason Colwick won the NCAA Outdoor Championships pole vault title in 2009. Pillow cleared the 5.50m (18-0.50) mark on his third and final attempt before failing to clear 5.55m.
Pillow's clearance of 5.50m tied the mark he had set earlier in the outdoor season at the Texas Relays in late March, once again tying Dave Roberts' jump in 1972 for the second-best jump in school history.
Ole Miss' Sam Kendricks outlasted Arkansa's Shawn Barber to win the national championship with a height of 5.70m (18-8.25). The Rice men will still have one more competitor in Oregon with sophomore thrower Evan Karakolis set to compete in the javelin on Saturday at 2:35 p.m. (CT).