Walker Takes World Lead In Summit Win

Jan. 22, 2005


RENO, Nev. - Spokane's Brad Walker stole the show from his former UW teammates in Reno, Nev. Friday, taking the 2005 world lead with a career-best clearance of 19 feet, 1 1/2 inches at the NAPVA Pole Vault Summit.

Walker's vault won the Summit's men's Elite competition, which saw the top American men's and women's vaulters competing on intersecting runways on a ballroom stage at the Reno Hilton.

The two-time NCAA indoor champion defeated a world-class field including 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson, American record holder Jeff Hartwig, and 2000 Olympic gold medalist Nick Hysong, each of whom were eliminated at 18-4 1/2.

Walker graduated from UW in June with a bachelor's degree in business administration, before placing sixth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. The Spokane, Wash., native -- who continues to train with UW coaches at Dempsey Indoor in Seattle -- finished the 2004 season with the sixth-best mark in the world, a mark he has already improved in 2005.

'I had a lot of time on my hands after graduating to do things correctly, getting in early and sleeping well,' he said after the Summit win. 'I was coming in feeling ahead of where I have in previous years. With all these guys, all you can do is hope to jump as high as you can. Hopefully, I can only go up from here.'

Full results from Friday's competition in Reno were not available as of 9:30 a.m. PST Saturday. Check www.polevaultsummit.com for the first posting of results, with a full recap -- including the performances of Husky senior Kate Soma and her UW teammates -- to be posted here shortly thereafter.