May 26, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - UC Davis junior Ethan Ostrom tied the school record in the pole vault at the NCAA Division I Track and Field West Prelim Meet at the University of Texas on Saturday but barely missed advancing to the national finals after a jump-off.
Ostrom was one of four Aggies in action during the last day of the regional meet. Senior Jonathan Peterson and sophomore Alycia Cridebring were not able to advance in the 5,000-meter run while fellow pole vaulter Mike Peterson also did not advance.
Ostrom was trying to become the third member of either the men's or women's track and field team to earn a spot in next month's NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa and put himself in contention after clearing 5.35 meters (17 feet, 6.50 inches) on his second attempt.
His mark tied the school record set by Tony Moore at the 2001 NCAA Division II Championships and broke his previous career best by 5-3/4 inches. Ostrom tied for sixth in his flight but, more importantly, was tied for the 12th and final berth to nationals with Derek Hinch of Arizona State.
The two vaulters then engaged in a jump-off, both missing at 5.40 meters (17-08.50) before the bar was moved down to 5.30 meters. Hinch was finally able to win at that height for 12th place.
"Solid vaulting provided the highlights on the final day of competition," said Aggie coach Drew Wartenburg. "Ethan saw his season close in bittersweet fashion with a school-record mark that earned him a jump-off for the final spot to nationals.
"To be that close and end up on the wrong end should provide some motivation over the course of the year to come."
Peterson cleared 16-08.75 (5.10 meters) in the pole vault, just two inches off his career best, and finished 37th overall.
The Aggies had a pair of competitors on the track with Cridebring and Peterson in the 5,000. Cridebring, the Big West runner-up in the 5,000, finished 18th in her heat in 17:18.79 and was 33rd overall. Megan Goethals of Washington crossed in 15:46.82 for the fastest qualifying time of the day.
Peterson, looking to match berths to the cross country national finals each of the past two seasons with one on the track, placed ninth in his heat in 14:34.67. He was 21st overall. The top five in each of the two heats plus the next two fastest times qualified for the national finals.
The race finished a tremendous career for Peterson who set school records this year in the 5,000 and 10,000, won the 5K and the 1,500 at the Big West Championships and established himself among the elite runners in the history of the Aggie program. He was named earlier this week the winner of the Colby E. "Babe" Slater Award as UC Davis' top male athlete this year and will be honored next weekend at the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame Ceremonies.
" 'Petey' came up short in a bid for a top-five spot off a very tactical early pace, closing his collegiate career on the regional stage," Wartenburg said. "Moving two athletes on to the national finals represents good progress but should also leave coaches and athletes seeking more from the postseason experience."
UC Davis concluded the regional meet with two qualifiers for the NCAA Championships in 10,000-meter specialist Sarah Sumpter and school-record discus thrower Ashley Hearn who each qualified earlier in the meet. They are the first Aggie women to move onto the finals since the program gained Div. I status in 2007. Sumpter was named this week the winner of the Hubert Heitman Award as the school's top female athlete of the year.
Drake University will host the NCAA Championships from June 6-9. Hearn will compete in the discus on the opening day while Sumpter will run the 10,000 the following evening.
NCAA WEST PRELIM Austin, Texas (hosted by Univ. of Texas) Mike A. Myers Stadium Day 3 of 3 UC Davis results only
5,000 - 1. Megan Goethals, Washington, 15:46.82... 33. Alycia Cridebring, 17:18.79.
5,000 - 1. Cameron Levins, Southern Utah, 14:04.75.... 21. Jonathan Peterson, 14:34.67.
PV - 1. J.J. Juilfs, Washington, 5.40 (17-08.50)... 13. Ethan Ostrom, 5.35 (17-06.50); 37. Mike Peterson, 5.10 (16-08.75).