UA Senior Andrea Dutoit Wins NCAA Pole Vault Title

June 1, 2001

EUGENE, Ore.- Three years ago, Andrea Dutoit was a freshman walk-on, competing in the pole vault for the University of Arizona women's track and field team.

She cleared 10-feet, 4-inches (3.15m), in 1998, and no one batted an eye, not even her coaches. However, the Flagstaff, Ariz., native persevered and improved steadily throughout her Wildcat career.

Her efforts came to a fantastic culmination Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Dutoit won the pole vault competition at the Championships, matching her career-best with a leap of 13-feet, 9-1/4 inches (4.20m).

'I can't even put into words what this feels like right now,' Dutoit said, fighting back tears on the interview stand. 'I came out here to do my best, and I don't think that I could have done any better. I mean, I came away with a national championship.'

The title is Arizona's second of the meet. Junior Brianna Glenn won the long jump on Wednesday and it helps the Wildcats move into a tie for second with 24 points, along with Southern California. UCLA makes it a Pac-10 1-2-3 entering the final day, as the Bruins lead with 27 points.

Dutoit entered the competition at the opening height, 12-3 1/2 (3.75m). She cleared that with ease, and cleared the next four heights, each on her first attempt. After Dutoit and two other vaulters -UCLA's Tracy O'Hara and Duke's Jillian Schwartz- cleared 13-9 1/4, the bar was raised to 14-1 1/4 (4.30m). All three vaulters missed at that height, and Dutoit was the winner with the fewest misses at lower heights.

'I knew coming in that I had to make the lower heights,' Dutoit said. 'I had a little trouble early, but I made it over everything, and didn't have too much of a problem after that. I got a lot of confidence from clearing the opening heights.'

Dutoit, who finished sixth at last year's Outdoor Championships and was second at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships, beat a class field in Eugene. O'Hara won last year's outdoor and this year's indoor championships and holds the collegiate record of 14-7 1/4 (4.70m). Georgia's Thorey Elisadottir, who finished fourth, had the second-best mark in the collegiate ranks this year and beat Dutoit earlier this season at Drachman Stadium in Tucson.

Completing the thrill for Dutoit, she won the title in front of several family members, including her parents, Daniel and Vicki Neary, and husband, former UA All-American pole vaulter Jeff Dutoit. Also, world record holder and 2000 Olympic Champion Stacy Dragilia awarded Dutoit her winner's trophy.

Dutoit is now a four-time All-American in the pole vault. She earned Academic All-America honors last year, and is a shoo-in for matching laurels this season, as she maintains a 4.0 grade point average in pre-physiological science and molecular and cellular biology. She will attend medical school next year. The title is the 14th an Arizona woman has won in NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships history, tying the Wildcats for sixth all-time with Villanova.

Arizona scored a total of 14 points in the event, as Dutoit's freshman teammate, Amy Linnen, placed fifth with a clearance of 13-1 1/2 (4.00m). Linnen was also fifth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and is now a two-time All-American.

Junior Brianna Glenn will have the chance to shoot for a total of three NCAA titles at the Championships, as she easily qualified for the 100m final. Glenn ran easy through the race and finished third in her race with a time of 11.48 seconds. Southern California's Angela Williams won the heat in 11.19, and Louisiana State's Muna Lee was second in 11.48.

Glenn's time was the third fastest overall in the qualifying. She will run in the 100m and 200m finals tomorrow, and she won the long jump on Wednesday, the first day of the competition.

The meet concludes tomorrow with Glenn competing in the 100m and 200m, senior Erin Doherty running in the 1,500m final and junior Tara Chaplin running in the 5,000m.

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