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Track Ends Nationals With Champion & An Eighth Place
Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2006
NORTHFIELD, MN - Stephanie Barnes (Jr. -Sauk City/Sauk Prairie) earned an indoor national championship today in pole vault to go with her outdoor one of last year while Erin Kokta (Sr. -Brookfield/East) landed eighth in the triple jump at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships.
Last year in the pole vault, Barnes took third with a 3.65 meter (11?113/4") jump. This year she came into today's action with the highest leap in Division III at 3.89 meters (12?9"). Today her highest leap of 3.85 meters (12?71/2") moved her up to first out of 15 for the national championship. The next closest mark was 3.75 meters (12?31/2"), held by four individuals. Barnes is now the only indoor national champ and outdoor national champ in pole vault for Eau Claire. Her outdoor one came in last year's nationals after beating two competitors in a jump-off for first. This makes Barnes the fifth Blugold in Eau Claire history to claim an indoor national championship. The last indoor Eau Claire champion was Arlene Meinholz in 1996 for the high jump event. She is only the second Blugold ever to take first in an indoor national championship and an outdoor one.
Kokta, who took fifth in the long jump yesterday, finished up nationals by taking eighth in the triple jump. She had an 11.26 meter (36?111/2") jump. Alecia Watson from the City College of New York won with 11.98 meters (39?33/4"), a new Tostrud Center record. Only the top 10 out of 15 advanced to the finals. Kokta leapt 11.26 meters (36?111/2") before for the seventh best mark in the prelims to get to the finals. She came into today with a tie for 10th in triple jump for Division III on an 11.46 meter (37?71/4") jump.
While the nationals may conclude the indoor portion of the track season, the outdoor half starts up once more on April 8th.
- PH -