THE PHILOSOPHY FOR Sondre Guttormsen seemed to be patience, energy conservation and let ice water flow through his veins.
He and Sam Houston State’s favored Clayton Fritsch were the last to join the party, coming in with first-time makes at 17-10½ (5.45), and then the pair sat back down and watched seven other vaulters go higher. Fritsch finally came back in at 18-4½ (5.60), but the Princeton junior was unmoved.
Disaster loomed at 18-6½ (5.65) — Guttormsen had a pair of misses, while Kentucky’s Keaton Daniel held a clean sheet and Stephen F. Austin’s Branson Ellis and Princeton teammate and brother Simen Guttormsen moved into medal positions (Fritsch passed again).
But Sondre coolly passed up to 18-8¼ (5.70), nailed it, and suddenly all his competitors except Fritsch and Daniel had melted away.
At 18-10¼ (5.75) Guttormsen made it look as if he’d been sandbagging with a huge second-attempt clearance, leaving about 6 inches between him and the bar. The height was too much for the others, and finally, after 3 hours and 44 minutes of competition, Guttormsen had gold.
It was the second championship at that height this year for him, as he took the Indoor crown 3 months ago.
Guttormsen then took three tries at a Norwegian Record 19-2¾ (5.86). A chest brush on the first was as close as he would get, and Pål Haugen Lillefosse’s mark of 19-2¼ (5.85) — set earlier that day in Bergen — remained the national standard. (The two jointly held their nation’s outdoor record of 19-¾/5.81 when the day began.)
The length of the contest posed a challenge, the champion explained: “I don’t know exactly how long, but I think it was almost 2 hours until the first jump, and then an hour until the third jump. Obviously it is not ideal. For my brother, he had like 70 minutes between his first and second jump, and it was only 10cm. So yeah, with 24 guys, in a normal meet it is only like 12 guys.
“I am happy that I came out with the win. I was almost out before it even got started with the first attempt. I don’t even remember which height, but it was tough. So, it is kind of a relief and joy now that I have won the NCAA Championships twice. I would like to do it another two, or four times, so, let’s see.”
MEN’S VAULT RESULTS
1. *Sondre Guttormsen’ (Prin-Nor) 18-10¼ (5.75) (=5, =9 NCAA);
2. Clayton Fritsch (SHous) 18-8¼ (5.70);
3. **Keaton Daniel (Ky) 18-6½ (5.65);
4. *Simen Guttormsen’ (Prin-Nor) 18-6½ (5.65) =PR;
5. *Branson Ellis (SFA) 18-6½ (5.65);
6. **Zach McWhorter (BYU) 18-4½ (5.60);
7. ***Clayton Simms (Ks) 18-½ (5.50) PR;
8. **Kyle Rademeyer’ (SAl-SA) 18-½ (5.50);
9. *Zach Bradford (Ks) 18-½; 10. *Trevor Stephenson (MiSt) 17-10½ (5.45) PR; 11. *Caleb Witsken (BYU) 17-10½; 12. Antonio Ruiz’ (Hous-Mex) 17-8½ (5.40); 13. **Eerik Haamer’ (SD-Est) 17-8½; 14. tie, Cole Riddle (Mem) & Robert Oswald (OhSt) 17-4½ (5.30); 16. Sean Roth (Louis) 17-4½; 17. *Jacob Englar (WaSt) 17-4½; 18. tie, **Alexander Slinkman (Rice) & Erick Duffy (Duke) 17-4½; 20. **Colby Wilson (MtSt) 16-10¾ (5.15); 21. **Max Manson (Stan) 16-10¾; 22. *Wyatt Lefker (Young) 16-4¾ (5.00);… nh—**Hunter Garretson (Akr), *James Courson (Aub).