Nebraska’s Natalie Willer Tops NCAA List with Record Vault
Seward, Neb. – With the 2009 outdoor regular season wrapping up this weekend, the No. 6 men’s and No. 17 women’s Nebraska track and field teams made the short trip up highway 34 on Friday afternoon for the Concordia Twilight. Sophomore Natalie Willer once again highlighted a meet for the Huskers, breaking her own school and American Junior record in the pole vault with a national-leading jump of 14-4 1/2. Overall, the Huskers took full advantage of the local meet, as the men posted six regional-qualifying marks and the women another five.
Willer continued her assault on the record books, taking her NU and American Junior record of 14-3 1/2 up one inch to 14-4 1/2, while also topping the previous national-leading mark of 14-4 by Katie Stripling of Arkansas. The World Junior record is held by Silke Spiegelburg of Germany, who jumped 14-8 1/4 on August 25, 2005. Willer will now set her focus on the Big 12 Outdoor Championships next weekend in Lubbock, Texas, where she will look to improve on her second-place finish from last year and along the way sweep the 2009 indoor and outdoor titles after winning her first Big 12 title during in the indoor season in College Station, Texas.
The Husker men were also well represented in the vault, as Seth Burney took his previous personal best of 17-0 3/4 to new heights with a clearance of 17-9, tying him for eighth in the nation with Nick Mossberg of Arizona. The Beatrice, Neb., native was not the only men’s vaulter to have a great day on the runway as senior Zac Holoch broke his previous best of 16-7 1/4 with a vault of 16-8 3/4. The Huskers now own three of the top-five spots on the Big 12 performance list with Burney ranked No. 2, Nate Polacek (16-10) ranked No. 4 and Holoch tied for the No. 5 spot.