FHSU's Stanley wins pole vault national championship

FHSU Sports Information
FHSU's Ryan Stanley is the NCAA Division II pole vault champion.

ALLENDALE, Mich. — The Fort Hays State track and field team captured one national title and had 12 All-Americans on the third and final day of the 2021 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday (May 29). The Tigers finished the week with 15 All-American honors across nine events.

The men's team finished 17th in the team race with 15 points, while the women placed 46th with three team points.

Ryan Stanley won the national title in the pole vault after clearing a school-record 17-2.75 not once, but twice. Now a four-time All-American, Stanley made quick work of the first two bars, clearing both 15-11 and 16-4.75 on his first attempt. After one miss he made it over the 16-8.75 bar on his second attempt, joining six individuals as the bar went up to 17-0.75.

After seeing four competitors make it over, Stanley joined the group by eclipsing that bar on his third and final attempt. Down to his third attempt again at 17-2.75, the redshirt-sophomore safely made it over the bar and back down to the mat, breaking his previous school record of 17-2.25 in the process.

Stanley and Trivett Jones of Angelo State were the only two athletes to make it over the 17-2.75 bar, while Central Missouri's Vincent Hobbie cleared the 17-0.75 bar and chose to pass at 17-2.75. No one was able to safely clear the bar at 17-4.5, sending Stanley and Jones into a jump-off while Hobbie finished in a tie for third. The pair both made one more unsuccessful attempt at 17-4.5 before the bar was lowered once again to 17-2.75. Jones went first and failed to clear the bar, setting the stage for Stanley. The Bennington native once again cleared the bar, securing the 24th outdoor national championship for Fort Hays State and the ninth during the NCAA DII era. The Tigers have now had a national champ in each of the last four outdoor national meets (Dean Cronin 2017 800m, Madison Wolf 2018 javelin, Brett Meyer 2019 1500m).

The men's 4x100m relay team of Xavier Robinson, Philip Landrum, Hayden Albright and Malcom Gardner ran their way onto the All-American podium with a time of 40.81 in the finals, finishing sixth and earning the Tigers three team points.

Albright later teamed up with Jack Pakkebier, Nolan Churchman and Ethan Lang to earn All-American status in the 4x400m relay. The Tigers combined for a time of 3:11.49, finishing seventh in the nation and giving FHSU two team points.

Alexandra Hart finished off her freshman season by earning another All-American trophy in the high jump. The Rolla, Kan. native finished seventh after clearing the 5-8 bar. Hart had no trouble with the first height, clearing the 5-5 bar on her first attempt before needing three tries to clear the 5-7 bar. She then got over the 5-8 bar on her second try, becoming the seventh athlete to clear that height.

Lyric Holman secured her second All-American trophy this season when she ran a wind-legal personal-best 24.10 in the finals of the 200m dash, placing eighth. Holman was also an All-American in the 60m dash indoors.

Addie Berens earned second team All-American honors in the javelin throw with a top heave of 131-3, good for 11th place. Fellow freshman Rhyann Brown placed 17th with a toss of 102-11.