June 12, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior Mary Saxer (Lancaster, N.Y.) finished tied for third in the pole vault finals at NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship on Friday night. Saxer was Notre Dame’s lone competitor on day three of the finals, which are being held at the University of Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field.
NCAA Championships Results (Day Three)
Women’s Pole Vault: Saxer was one of six jumpers to clear 4.30 (14-01.25) on the night, a personal best for the recent graduate. The six jumpers then attempted to clear 4.40m (with the NCAA meet record standing at 4.41m). Indiana State’s Kylie Hutson won the dramatic final when she was the only jumper to clear 4.40m. Hutson later tried to clear 4.42 to claim the record, but came up short.
With her third place finish, Saxer earned the second USTFCCCA All-America finish of her Irish career, becoming the 11th student-athlete in Irish women’s track & field history to earn multiple All-America citations. She also owns the distinction of being the only All-America pole vaulter in women’s program history. Saxer earned her first USTFCCCA All-America honor earlier this year at the NCAA Indoor Championships when she cleared a height of 4.05 meters (13-3 1/2) to finish ninth.
With Saxer’s All-America finish, the Notre Dame women’s track and field program has had at least one outdoor All-American for eight consecutive years, dating back to 2002.
Saxer had qualified Friday’s finals when she marked at 4.10m (13-05.25) in the prelims to earn a tie for first place. Earlier in the outdoor season, Saxer broke the BIG EAST Championship record with a 4.20m (13-9 1/4) vault to win the women’s pole vault title and establish her best mark of the season entering the NCAA Championship.
Continue to check back with und.com for further updates from the NCAA Championships, as Jaclyn Espinoza (Keizer, Ore.) closes out Notre Dame’s participation at the 2009 NCAA Championships in the discus finals on Saturday afternoon. Espinoza earned a spot in the finals with a 12th place finish on Thursday, June 11. She posted a mark of 50.44 (165-06), good for eighth in her flight and the final spot in the finals. The discus finals will take place on Saturday, June 13 at noon (CST).