Toby Stevenson Earns Berth On U.S. Olympic Team
July 11, 2004
Sacramento, Ca - Toby Stevenson enjoyed a distinguished career (six All-American honors) in the pole vault at Stanford University. Stevenson, a 2000 Stanford graduate, won the 1998 NCAA title, finished second at the NCAA's in 2000 and captured the Pac-10 championship in 2000.
Since then, Stevenson has become one of the world's best vaulters, and this year produced the world's best at 19-8 1/4, 6.00m). Stevenson is now heading to his first Olympic Games in Athens this summer. Stevenson staged a dramatic duel with Tim Mack at the United States Olympic Track & Field Trials on Sunday, and in the end, finished second to Mack but still gained one of three berths on the United States Olympic team.
Stevenson vaulted 19-2 1/4 (5.85m) while Mack, the 2001 Goodwill Games gold medalist, finished first at 19-4 1/4 (5.90m). Derek Miles, the 2003 U.S. indoor champion, placed third at 19-0 1/4 (5.80m). All three vaulters will be making their first trips to the Olympics. Stevenson becomes only the third pole vaulter from Stanford to compete in the Olympics. Bill Miller captured the gold medal in 1932. Sam Bellah finished sixth in the pole vault at the 1908 Olympics and seventh at the 1912 Olympics.
Mack led the competition through 18-8 1/4 (5.79m), then passed to 19-0 1/4 (5.80m). When Mack missed on his first attempt and Stevenson cleared to take the lead, Mack then passed to 19-2 1/4 (5.85m).
Mack need his final attempt to clear 19-2 1/4 (5.85m), while Stevenson made it on his first try, seemingly putting Stevenson in control of the competition. But Mack came through in the clutch and cleared 19-4 1/4 (5.90m) on his first attempt. Stevenson missed, then passed to 19-6 1/4 (5.95m), at which he missed his final two attmepts, ensuring Mack was the Olympic Trials champion.
Erica Wheeler, a two-time All-American from Stanford in 1987-88, was attempting to make her second U.S. Olympic team in the javelin, but finished fourth (175-11, 53.61m). Kim Kreiner won the competition (182-7, 55.65m) followed by Sarah Malone (177-11, 54.22m) and Denise O'Connell (177-4, 54.05m).
On Monday (7/12/04), several current and former Stanford athletes will be competing. Sara Bei, a senior-to-be, will compete in the finals of the 5,000 meters (9:25 p.m., pt), Summer Pierson, a 2000 Stanford graduate, will be competing in the finals of the discus (7:30 p.m., pt), Ian Dobson, a senior-to-be, will be one of the top competitors in the semifinals of the 3,000 meter steeplechase (7:55 p.m., pt) while recent graduates Seth Hejny and Louis Luchini and 15-time All-American Jonathon Riley will compete in the semifinals of the 5,000 meters (8:45 p.m. pt).
The top three finishers at the U.S. Olympic Trials who have already met the Olympic 'A' qualifying standard in their event will be named to the Team USA roster for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
For complete results at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, go to www.usatf.org