June 24, 2009
Even though NCAA competition has concluded Jason Colwick will don his Rice jersey this weekend.
The pole vaulter extraordinaire competes this weekend at the USA Track & Field National Championships in Eugene, Ore., at Hayward Field. On the line is a trip to compete at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany (Aug. 15-23).
The pole vault event begins on Saturday at 4:55 p.m. (Central). If he were to place in the top three, then he will represent Team USA and jump in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, which will host its first major international track and field event since the 1936 Olympic Games.
The San Marcos, Texas, native will be vaulting for the first time since winning the 2009 NCAA Outdoor title in Fayetteville, Ark. on June 12. He also won the 2009 NCAA Indoor championship (5.60m/18-4.5) and is now the only Conference USA athlete to win both indoor and outdoor championships in the same event.
He enters Saturday's competition with a personal-best mark of 5.72m/18-9.25, which ranks as the seventh-best height in the world for 2009.
The University of Oregon's Hayward Field has been the site of the 1972, 1976, 1980, and the 2008 US Olympic Trials. Colwick is quite familiar with Hayward Field as he competed there last summer during the Olympic Trials. He cleared 5.40m/17-8.50 in the prelims but did not advance to the final round.
During the 2009 outdoor season, Colwick has been a consistent performer by clearing the 18-foot mark on seven occasions.
The USA Track & Field National Championships can be seen on ESPN, Fri., June 26, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. ET; ESPN, Sat., June 27, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. ET; and on NBC, Sun., June 28, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET.