The Norman Transcript


June 25, 2013

Whitt vaults onto U.S. national team

NORMAN — A year ago, former Norman North pole vaulter Jack Whitt capped his junior season at Oral Roberts with a national championship at the NCAA outdoor meet. From there, he looked like a good bet to earn his way onto the U.S. Olympic team bound for the London Games.

It didn’t happen.

Instead, Whitt was an alternate on the Olympic team.

This year, Whitt settled for his second silver medal, to go with the one he earned his sophomore year, at his last NCAA outdoor meet. Yet, if that was a disappointment, he rebounded by garnering a spot on the U.S. team he failed to earn a year ago.

It won’t put him in the Olympics, though that day could still come, but it has him on the U.S. team bound for Russia when the bi-annual World Championships begin in Moscow Aug. 10.

It happened dramatically at U.S. Track and Field Championships, which concluded Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Whitt cleared the opening height of 17-61⁄2, but failed to clear each of the next two levels — 17-101⁄2 and 18-21⁄2 — until his third and final try. 

Then, when the bar was raised to 18-41⁄2, Whitt only needed one try to clear it. Though he failed to clear 18-61⁄2 in each of his three tries, his third-place finish and a spot on his nation’s World Championships team was already secure.

Brad Walker earned gold in the event, clearing 18-61⁄2 on his first try. Walker then passed on attempting 18-81⁄2 before failing to clear 19-01⁄4 in three tries. Jeremy Scott won silver, clearing 18-61⁄2 on his second try, before failing to clear 18-81⁄2 on each of his three attempts.

Walker, with a vault of 19-93⁄4 in June of 2008, continues to be the American record holder in the event. Sergey Bubka, who first grabbed the pole vault world record in 1984, competing for the Soviet Union, continues to be the world record holder in the event, last setting it with a vault of 20-13⁄4 in 1994, representing his home nation of Ukraine.

The U.S. Contingent of Walker, Scott and Whitt begin their Moscow run Aug. 10 at Luzhniki Stadiume (formerly Lenin Stadium). The pole vault final is scheduled for Aug. 12.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014