June 12, 2009
Fayetteville, Ark. -- Rice junior pole vaulter Jason Colwick is a two-time NCAA champion after capturing the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field title at Arkansas' John McDonnell Field. Colwick cleared 5.70m/18-8.25 to win the gold. He previously won the 2009 NCAA Indoor championship (5.60m/18-4.5).
"It was a great night to jump with perfect weather conditions," said Colwick. "Scott Roth (Washington) put the pressure on, but I was able to clear my height. It was great competition all around this evening."
After clearing 5.70m, he moved the bar to 5.83m/19-1.5, which would've been a new NCAA meet record, but he missed on all three attempts. The opening height started at 5.10m, but Colwick passed until 5.50m, which he cleared on his first attempt. He then passed on the next height of 5.55m, before clearing 5.60m again on his first try. After passing on 5.65m, Colwick easily cleared what proved to be the winning height of 5.70m.
Washington's Roth cleared 5.55m/18-2.5, but missed his first attempt at 5.60m. Roth then passed on his last two attempts at 5.60m. He then only had two attempts remaining to clear 5.65, which he did not.
Friday's competition was originally scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but inclement weather pushed everything back. Colwick, with time to kill, took the opportunity to go see a movie. The movie of choice? The new Disney 3D animation, UP.
"If I was going to see any movie, it might as well be UP," Colwick commented shortly after the conclusion of the competition.
Colwick becomes Rice's first NCAA Outdoor champion since Ryan Harlan won the 2004 decathlon with a school record 8,171 points. Colwick is also the school's first pole vault title winner since Dave Roberts won in 1971 (17-6.5), 1972 (17-3), and 1973 (17-4).
A native of San Marcos, Texas, Colwick came into Friday with the nation's number one mark and fourth in the world for 2009 at 5.72m/18-9.25. He now turns his attention towards Eugene, Ore., site of the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championship (June 25-28). This decides who represents Team USA at the 2009 IAAF World Championship in Berlin, Germany, which will be the first major international track and field event in the Olympic stadium since the 1936 Olympic Games.
And up Colwick went, and down he lands in the records' book as an NCAA outdoor champion.