School record holder Kristen Denk placed 10th in the Pole Vault at NCAA Indoors on Saturday earning her Second Team All America.
Denk cleared her opening height of 4.16m in her first attempt. She scratched three times on her next height, 4.26m (full results here).
It was the “highest she’s ever entered a competition,” says Associate Head Coach and Denk’s PV Coach, Clark Humphries. Meaning that higher entry heights give less time for a vaulter to become comfortable in a competition and less opportunity to peak. However, Denk showed gumption clearing the opening height on her first try.
It was a disappointing day for Denk who had set the school record at SEC Indoor two weeks prior with 4.34m and a third place finish. She was eager to compete at NCAA’s and jockey for a top 8 spot. Her SEC Indoor mark would have given her a 7th place finish at NCAA’s.
Kristen had an exciting week leading up to the Championships as she participated in the Vanderbilt Athletics social media take over and NCAA banquets.
Her 10th place finish is better than her 12th at NCAA Outdoor last year, and it is a another rung up the ladder that she has been climbing during her career as a Commodore. Humphries is confident in his vaulter, “Top 8 at Outdoors will happen.”
With Denk’s consistent ascendence, it’s hard to believe it won’t.