Gardner Reaches New Heights at UVA

  • By Samantha Strejeck
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  • April 21, 2017 10:25 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  – Sophomore Madelin Gardner of the West Virginia University track and field team soared to record-breaking heights on the first day of the Virginia Challenge, as she set a school record in the women’s pole vault on Friday in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Things got started quickly for the Mountaineers on the first day of competition at UVA. Gardner tied for the win in the pole vault, while becoming WVU’s new record holder in the pole vault. Additionally, West Virginia notched a runner-up finish in the triple jump, thanks to sophomore Danique Bryan.
“Another fantastic afternoon for the jumpers,” said coach Sean Cleary. “Danique had a career-best mark in the triple to add to her breakthrough last week in the long jump. Her confidence is at a place that we can only hope becomes contagious to her teammates. 
“Maddie has been waiting for this day for a few years now. All of her hard work was rewarded in this school record performance. What makes this competition even better for Maddie is that she was clean through 4.13 meter. Our vault program has been quite successful over its history- to be the best of the best is something that she should cherish.”
A native of Williamstown, West Virginia, Gardner tied Georgia Stefanidi from Georgia for the pole vault title, clearing a WVU school record of 4.13 meters (13’-6 ½”). Gardner bested former Mountaineer record holder Katlyn Shelar’s 4.10 meters (13’-5 ¼”), which was set in 2013. Gardner has climbed up WVU’s outdoor top-five list continuously, as she cleared a then-personal best 4.00 meters (13”-1 ½”), the second best height in program history, just last weekend at the Bison Outdoor Classic.
Bryan posted a strong performance in the women’s triple jump, placing second with an outdoor career-best mark of 12.99 meters (42’-7 ½”), the fourth best in WVU outdoor history. She improved by .77 meters from her previous best, set during last season.
Junior Shamoya McNeil represented the West Virginia in the triple jump invite, as she placed seventh with a clearance of 12.73 meters (41’-9 ¼”).
In addition to Gardner's win, WVU had several strong performances in the pole vault. Freshman Amanda Barnes vaulted a career best 3.73 meters (12’-2 ¾”), improving .03 meters from her previous best set at the Bison Outdoor Classic last weekend. Junior Rebekah Lafata placed ninth with a mark of 3.33 meters (10’-11”)
Debuting in her first 10,000-meter race, redshirt freshman Olivia Hill placed 16th with a time of 36:29.63.
In the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (sections one and two), senior Amy Cashin placed 18th with a time of 10:42.22, and senior Megan Yuan finished 23rd in 10:46.99.
Redshirt freshman Candace Jones placed 38th in the women’s 800-meter run, crossing the finish line in 2:11.74. Junior Rebecca Wendt finished 61st with a time of 2:23.22.
Saturday’s competition begins at 9 a.m. ET with the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (section three). UVA hosts more than 50 schools this weekend at Lannigan Field.
Fans can follow the meet live at flashresults.com. Additional updates can be found by following @WVUTrackField.
Up next, West Virginia will compete at the prestigious Penn Relays from April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow the team on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.