Madelin Gardner qualifies for NCAA Track championship

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (May 24, 2019) – Redshirt senior Madelin Gardner of the West Virginia University track and field team tied for first place in the pole vault at the 2019 NCAA East Preliminary Round, in Jacksonville, Florida, on Friday night, punching her ticket to next month’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.

In her only attempt of the evening, Gardner cleared 4.17 meters (13 feet, 8.25 inches) to secure her place in the top 12 and earn a trip to her fourth career NCAA Championships meet, including her second outdoors.

The Williamstown, West Virginia, native passed on the opening three bars of the event: 3.77 meters, 3.92 meters and 4.07 meters. She was one of just two competitors to log only one jump on the night before advancing.

“Maddy vaulted like the veteran that she is,” WVU coach Sean Cleary said. “Coming in at 4.17 meters and needing only one attempt to vault herself into the NCAA Finals was a memorable site. We are all very proud of her competition.”

Gardner next advances to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, from June 5-8, at Mike A. Myers Stadium, in Austin, Texas. She will look to become just the seventh Mountaineer in program history to earn at least four career All-America honors (track and field only).

WVU began the three-day, regional meet at Hodges Stadium on Thursday with a pair of events. Redshirt junior Olivia Hill finished 30th in the 10,000 meters semifinal, earning a time of 35:28.48, while redshirt freshman Hayley Jackson took 35th place in the 1,500 meters first round, crossing the finish line in 4:29.39.

The Mountaineers conclude the East Prelims on Saturday, as redshirt senior Shamoya McNeil competes in the triple jump first round at 3 p.m. ET. The 2017 Third Team All-American is seeded No. 26 in the region with a top mark of 12.79 meters (41 feet, 11.5 inches).

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