@MemTigersTF_XC Pujats Takes Third at NCAA Indoor Championship
March 15, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-University of Memphis pole vaulter Pauls Pujats placed third at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship, on Saturday, clearing a new program-record of 5.50m (18’.50”). Pujats’ performance earned the junior All-America First Team honors.
“Pauls competed tonight with the heart of a lion,” head track and field coach Kevin Robinson said. “He jumped the highest of his life, when it mattered the absolute most. He displayed a very high level of competitive composure in his first NCAA championship experience. The whole Tiger track and field family is proud of what Paul’s accomplished tonight.”
Pujats started the competition clearing the opening height of 5.20m (17’.75”) on his first attempt. The Latvia, native then passed on the next progression of 5.30m (17’4.5”) with Pujats clearing the next height of 5.40m (17’8.5”) on his first attempt.
The junior again passed on the next progression of 5.45m (17’10.5”). On the ensuing height of 5.50m (18.50”), Pujats missed on the first two attempts but cleared the bar on his third and final opportunity to stay alive in the competition.
Pujats passed on the next progression of 5.55m (18’2.5”), but then missed on all three of his attempts at the next height of 5.60m (18’4.5”). Pujats final mark of 5.50m (18’.50”) secured him a podium finish of third place, and broke his own program-record of 5.45m (17’10.5”) set at the inaugural American Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Pujats is only the second Memphis men’s pole vaulter to earn All-America honors in the program’s history. Pauls joins his brother Karlis Pujats in that exclusive club, who earned All-America Second Team accolades with the Tigers in 2011.
Arkansas’ Shawn Barber took first place clearing 5.75m (18’10.25”) for the national title. Sam Kendricks of Ole Miss was runner-up at a height of 5.70m (18’8.25”)
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