EUGENE, Oregon — Arkansas alum Andrew Irwin produced a season best of 18-10 ¼ (5.75) in placing sixth among a field of 12 at the U.S. Olympic Trials during the fourth day of competition at Hayward Field, which saw temperatures reach into the mid-90s during the Monday afternoon competition.
With the sixth-place performance, Irwin generated the best finish in the pole vault at an U.S. Olympic Trials by a vaulter affiliated with the University of Arkansas. Back in 2012 at the Olympic Trials, Irwin had a no height during the qualification day. Mark Klee had the same result in 1984.
A strong start had Irwin clearing his first four bars on first attempts, starting at the opening height of 17-10 ½ (5.45) and moving along to 18-4 ½ (5.60), 18-8 ½ (5.70), and 18-10 ¼ (5.75). A couple of those heights included a bit of jostling, but the bar remained on the pegs to count as a clearance.
Then Irwin’s attempts at 19-0 ¼ (5.80) resulted in three misses.
Sporting an outdoor career best of 19-0 ¼ as well as an indoor best of 19-3 ½ (5.88), Irwin was a solid contender for a top three finish. Twice this season he cleared 18-8 ½ as a previous best before today.
Chris Nilsen won the title with a height of 19-4 ¼ (5.90), while there was a tie for the runner-up position at 19-2 ¼ (5.85) between Sam Kendricks and KC Lightfoot. Matt Ludwig and Jacob Wooten both cleared 19-0 ¼ (5.80) in placing fourth and fifth, respectively.
The next two days are rest days at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Competition resumes on Thursday with Nicholas Hilson competing in the first round of the 400m hurdles.