Kayla Caldwell Takes 3rd in Nation in Pole Vault

Kayla Caldwell Takes 3rd in Nation in Pole Vault

March 8, 2013 - The All-American podium at the NCAA indoor track and field championships has become a familiar spot for Hillsdale College's Kayla Caldwell.

The senior finished third in the nation in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet, 11 inches at Friday afternoon's session of the 2013 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, being held this weekend in Birmingham, Alabama.

Caldwell's top cleared height tied her own personal record and school record, and was actually the second-highest cleared by any competitor. But it fell just short of first place. The top three pole vaulters in the nation in Division II all came from the GLIAC, another indication of the nation's most powerful Division II women's indoor track conference dominating the competition at the national level.

The first set height for the event was 12-1, but Caldwell didn't start competing until it reached 12-7. The competition was quickly cut down until she cleared the 13-11 mark that solidified her school record.

Caldwell has been an All-American in the pole vault four other times, indoor and outdoor combined, in her prolific career. 

Saturday, she will receive the Kimball Medal, emblematic of Hillsdale College's top female athlete in 2012-13.

Other national-meet qualifiers from the Chargers, thrower Kathy Dirksen, mile runner Emily Oren and 800 meter runner Amy Kerst, failed to qualify for the finals in their respective events.

Hillsdale's three men's team representatives - Maurice Jones, Matthew Perkins and John Banovetz - all failed to qualify for the finals in their respective events.