DES MOINES, Iowa – Sophomore Katie Stripling was the highlight of the day for Arkansas Lady Razorback track and field on day three of the NCAA Championships at Drake Stadium.
"What we saw from Katie (Stripling) today is what we have seen all season, with the exception of regionals," head coach Lance Harter said. "She got another opportunity to compete and she capitalized on it. She put regionals aside and had a clean slate to work with. I think her maturation process is evolving. She’s only been vaulting for three years so she is still a novice in the sport compared to some of her peers who have been vaulting for a lot longer. She has so much natural ability and when the mechanics sharpen, she’ll be a dangerous threat."
Stripling earned a bronze finish in the pole vault finals. With a clearance of 13-9.25, she earned the first All-America honor of her young career. Stripling was clean through 13-5.25 and missed her first bar at 13-9.25, the winning height. The top four vaulters all cleared 13-9.25 and Stripling was third on misses.
"I’m really happy I came out here and redeemed myself," Stripling said. "I got into the meet and had a lot to prove. I didn’t have a height or place in mind. I wanted to jump well and be an All-American. Once I knew I was an All-American, I relaxed to see what place I could get."
Christine Kalmer finished 14th in the 5,000-meter finals. She clocked a time of 16:40.52.
"It has been a long, long season for Christine (Kalmer)," Harter said. "She followed the race plan perfectly, staying in the top 10 or 12. She was in great shape and then the wheels kind of fell off. When she let it go, she let it go. She did all she could to finish and get it done with."
Arkansas’ only competitor on Saturday, Dacia Barr in the 1,500 meters, will be contested at 4:12 p.m. Saturday’s events will be broadcast live 3-5 p.m. CST on CBS. For complete results of the NCAA Championships, visit www.ladybacks.com.