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April 1, 2024


Brynn King runs at beginning of pole vault attempt.

Brynn King felt right at home in her native Texas on Saturday.

King, a fifth-year student at Roberts Wesleyan University, won the women's elite pole vault at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in record-breaking fashion at Mike A. Myers Track & Soccer Stadium on the University of Texas campus.

King cleared 4.68 meters (15-feet, 4¼ inches) to break her own NCAA Division II outdoor record of 4.60 meters (15-1) while establishing new personal and meet standards for the university division.

"It was exciting," said King, a native of The Woodlands, Texas, who had about 20 family members on hand to cheer her on.

King, who won the NCAA Division II indoor championship with a record-breaking effort of 4.65 meters (15-3) on March 8, entered the competition at 4.30 meters (14-1) and was successful on her first attempt. She needed two attempts to clear 4.50 meters (14-9) and the field was down to four when she decided to skip the next bar.

"We weren't as focused on other people, we just stuck to our plan," King said. "The meet was moving pretty fast, so we decided to pass on 4.6 and get a little bit of extra rest and go for 4.68."

The decision set King up for success when Hana Moll, the only other collegian in the field of six, Anicka Newell and Emily Grove each missed their three attempts at 4.6.

"I passed on the bar before, so I knew that I just had to go out there and make a jump," King said. "I knew that I had the pole and I had the grip, I just had to go out there and execute."

King was using two poles that she had never used before while trying to attain a height that she had reached for the first time in practice earlier this week.

After a self-described "funky jump" on her first try, King clinched the victory on her second attempt by landing the fifth-best jump in NCAA women's outdoor history. She then tried for the all-time NCAA outdoor mark, but missed all three attempts at 4.74 meters. Olivia Gruver of the University of Washington owns the NCAA record of 4.73 meters (15-6 ¼) which was set on March 29, 2019.

"This was another huge meet for Brynn with extra pressures and she handled them well," Roberts pole vault coordinator Jenn Suhr said. "She planted two poles that she has never been on and came away with a PR (personal record). She took really good shots at the overall collegiate record and is finding her timing at the higher bars."

Suhr, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, owns the all-time meet record of 4.91 meters (16-1¼) in 2019.

King, who was a high school senior at the time, was in the stands to watch Suhr that day after clearing 13-feet to finish fifth in the High School A Division.

Now, after spending the first four years of her college career at Duke University, she is soaring even higher with Suhr as her coach as a Roberts Wesleyan Redhawk.

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