USF’s Courtney Crandall Wins D2 National Pole Vault Title
Third Cougar To Win National Title
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – One of the most special seasons in University of Sioux Falls Track & Field culminated in their third individual national championship as Courtney Crandall cruised to the women’s pole vault national title on Friday at the NCAA Championships. On top of winning the title, Crandall broke the NCAA Championship meet record while tying her own USF record. Sophomore Teddy Frid climbed two spots in the final three events of the men’s heptathlon to finish sixth and earn All-American honors with a school record mark while the men’s distance medley relay of Mason Phillips, Trey Furgeson, Zach Lundberg and Jase Kraft placed 10th in the final event of the second day of competition.
A redshirt senior from Rapid City, S.D., Crandall entered Friday’s competition as the top seed and was coming off a record-setting conference championship. With the pressure of defending her top seed mark, Crandall lived up to her billing with a flawless victory. She cleared her first three bars with ease on the first attempt and that was all she needed as no other vaulter was able to clear 4.12 meters (13 feet-6.25 inches) while Crandall did so in her first effort.
After securing the national title as the two other vaulters who reached the winning height bowed out, Crandall set her sights on the NCAA Championship meet record. Two weeks earlier, Crandall cleared 4.32 meters (14-2.00) to set a new Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship meet record, and on Friday, she would need to clear the same height for a new national meet record. As she had done on the three clearances that earned her the national title, Crandall soared over the bar on her first attempt and the NCAA Championship record book would now have her name next to the women’s pole vault mark.
In addition to her national title, Crandall tied her USF record and her mark that stands as the fourth-highest pole vault mark in NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field history. She earned her third All-American honor, adding to her 2015 indoor honor, which was achieved in the same building as her national title was on Friday, and her 2016 outdoor fifth-place All-American finish. Crandall becomes the third pole vaulter and overall athlete to win an individual national title for USF, joining Brigitte Gross, who won the NCAA Indoor women’s pole vault title in 2014, and Jagger Gran, who captured the 2015 NCAA Indoor men’s pole vault title. Since joining NCAA Division II, Crandall’s title is USF’s second indoor women’s pole vault national title, the most for any Division II program over that span.
Prefacing Crandall’s glory in the women’s pole vault, Frid set out to earn USF’s first men’s individual All-American honor in an event other than the pole vault. With an equally impressive second-day performance after his first-day score had him in eighth place, Frid tallied 5,202 points to break his own school record and finish seventh in the field to capture All-American honors.
Frid opened the day with the second-fastest 60-meter hurdles time in the 14-athlete field, clocking an 8.31-second run to add 905 points to his 2,853 day-one total and move into third place overall. In the pole vault, Frid hit his second personal-best mark of the meet with a 4.05-meter (13-3.50) clearance, 10th among the competitors. His PR clearance added 631 points to his total, but he dropped to seventh in the field with 4,389 points entering the final event of the competition.
Looking to lock down his top-eight standing, Frid pushed the pace in the 1,000-meter run and he was able to finish seventh in the field at 2:45.49, just off his personal-best time. His time was worth 813 points towards his final score, which reached 5,202 points to break his own USF record, which he had broken three times this year.
Closing the day, USF’s men’s distance medley relay team was seeking the third All-American finish of the day, but the quartet of Phillips, Furgeson, Lundberg and Kraft came up two spots short in a record-breaking field. The Cougars turned in a 10:00.02, placing 10th in the stacked field that placed three teams under the meet record.
Phillips led off in the 1,200-meter leg with a 3:03.54 and handed off to Furgeson, who clocked a 49.51-second split in the 400-meter portion. Looking to make up ground on the field, Lundberg ran his 800 meters in 1:54.68 then handed off to Kraft, who posted a 4:12.31 in the 1,600-meter leg to bring USF to their 10:00.02, which is the third-fastest time in USF history.
USF concludes their trip to the NCAA Championships with four athletes in the men’s pole vault as Scott Greenman, Jacob Zebedee, Jagger Gran and Chase Jensen compete Saturday, March 11 at 3:30 p.m.