The chart says it all. After a miss on her opening jump, Sandi Morris was simply perfect.
The World Indoor champion came in at 14-11 (4.55), while 9-time winner Jenn Suhr opted to wait until 15-1 (4.60), skipping the first 3 heights. Despite getting her hips far above, Morris hit with her arm and missed a bar that leader Kristen Hixson had already made. Katie Nageotte also missed her first attempt.
Both would make their second attempts. At 15-1, Nageotte passed to watch Suhr clear big on her first, with Morris following. Hixson then opted to pass as well. Nageotte put herself into the lead with first-attempt clearance at 15-3 (4.65). Suhr passed, and Morris went over on her first, again achieving massive altitude over the bar. Hixson would miss three times to finish 4th at 14-11.
At 15-5 (4.70), it got real. Nageotte missed. Suhr missed. Morris cleared to take over sole possession of the lead. Nageotte managed a third-attempt clearance, but with the pressure on, Suhr was unable to get over the bar and would end up 3rd at 15-1. With the bar raised to 15-7 (4.75), Nageotte missed her first. Morris cleared hers. Nageotte passed her remaining attempts.
The bar moved to 15-9 (4.80). Nageotte, with two tries remaining, missed. Morris showed nerves of steel and cleared. With one shot left, Nageotte passed. Officials raised the bar to 15-11 (5.85) now keeping an eye over their shoulders at the approaching storm. Nageotte took her one remaining shot and missed.
That left Morris with a decision. Facing an evening flight and a meet that risked going into overtime, she asked that the bar be moved to a 16-2½ (4.94), a height that would gain her the yearly outdoor world lead (she owns the absolute lead with her indoor 16-2¾/4.95). “One person was telling me, ‘Go ahead and go!’ So I’m rushing, grabbing my pole and I did sneak in one jump at that world lead but I wasn’t able to take my next two,” she said. The storm stopped her as the stadium was evacuated. “It’s a little frustrating,”she admitted, “but whatever happens happens and it was out of my control. (Continues)
“I was feeling really strong but I had to shut it down. I just needed to make a couple of tweaks and push the standards back,” she explained. “I was jumping really well. My technique and everything felt great today.” No one could stop the storm that is Sandi Morris at age 25. “I’ve been on a roll,” she said. “I’ve had no disappointing days this year. I’ve had a really great year and I think that I’ve got even bigger things in the bag for the year.”
On her way to the airport, she was thrilled at nabbing her second outdoor title. “I’m glad I didn’t get rained on,” she said, adding with a laugh, “And I’m really glad I didn’t get struck by lightning.”
USATF WOMEN’S VAULT RESULTS
1. Sandi Morris (Nik) 15-9 (4.80);
2. Katie Nageotte (Nik) 15-5 (4.70);
3. Jenn Suhr (adi) 15-1 (4.60);
4. Kristen Hixson (unat) 14-11 (4.55);
5. Annie Rhodes (unat) 14-11;
6. Sydney Walter (unat) 14-7¼ (4.45);
=7. Tori Hoggard (Ar) 14-7¼;
=7. Morgann LeLeux (unat) 14-7¼;
9. Lexi Jacobus (Ar) 14-7¼;
=10. Kristen Brown (CVE) 14-1¼ (4.30);
=10. Emily Grove (unat) 14-1¼;
12. Marissa Kalsey (unat) 14-1¼ =PR;
13. Megan Clark (Oiselle) 14-1¼;
… nh— Madison Heath (Duke), Carolina Moll (unat), Alexandra Pevtsova (unat), Kortney Ross (CVE), Lakan Taylor (unat).