Pole Vaulter Omori Named All-American at National Track & Field Championships
Sophomore pole vaulter Marisa Omori was named an All-American for finishing in eighth place during the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships held May 24-26 at Milliken University in Decatur, Ill. Omori, of Kirkland, Wash., vaulted 11 feet, ¾ inch – below the 11-foot, 8-inch vault she posted last month to qualify for nationals.
Just about everybody, with a couple of exceptions, was about one height below where they’d been qualifying,” coach Troy Engle said, adding that athletes were constrained by cool, windy conditions. “I think in general, she had a pretty good meet.”
In the 110-meter high hurdles, freshman Dane Knezek of San Antonio, Texas, finished seventh in his heat and did not advance to the final. Knezek ran his race in 14.99 seconds. “He still came away with a good experience,” Engle said. “Not too many freshmen make the meet.” Earlier this month, Knezek turned in a 14.40-second performance at the L.A. Invitational – the best ever by an Oxy frosh. The mark qualified him for the national championships and for USA Track & Field’s Junior National Championship this June in Richmond, Va.
Engle said he is encouraged by the performances of Omori and Knezek. “Clearly, you’re never completely satisfied unless they’re national champions,” he said. “I think that will come. They’ve got years to get to that level.” Oxy typically sends at least one athlete – and sometimes several – to the track and field championships every year.