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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A week after opening her indoor season with a Randal Tyson Track Center facility record, Sandi Morris improved it to a world-leading height 16 feet (4.88 meters) to win the event during the American Track League 3 meet on Sunday.
Morris, who cleared a winning height of 15-9.25 (4.81) a week ago, surpassed that height with a 15-10 (4.83) make as she was still contending with a challenger in the form of Olivia Gruver, who set an indoor career best of 15-8.25 (4.78) as runner-up. Megan Clark placed third at 15-0.25 (4.58).
“I’m super, super happy and this has been a great series already and I’ve only had two meets,” said Morris, who has an indoor career best of 16-2.75 (4.95) from 2016. “Really the goal of this has been to get comfortable on the new poles that I’m jumping on. I feel that I’m super confident now.
“The bars are just the icing on the cake. It’s really just to help set up my confidence with the outdoor season. I’m so happy, my husband and parents were here to watch it along with our crowd of cutouts. It was a special night, for sure, to break the facility record again on my home track. Because I haven’t gotten to jump here that often since I became a pro. So, this is very special for me.”
Once the victory was wrapped up, Morris had the bar raised to a world record height of 16-7.5 (5.07).
“After getting the facility record and the current world lead, there’s not much else to go for,” explained Morris. “Let’s just put it at 5.07, the world record, and take some looks at it. I was working on raising my grip tonight. I raised it about an inch and a half, and that doesn’t sound like much, but in pole vault raising your grip when you’re at the peak of your abilities it’s really, really difficult.
“I feel so confident, because everything we’ve been working on in training has been coming together and feeling really good. So, I think it’s going to be a big year.”
The other women’s field event held this weekend, the high jump, also produced a facility record as Vashti Cunningham cleared 6-6.75 (2.00) to set a career best. After needing three attempts to get over 6-2.25 (1.89), Cunningham made 6-3.25 (1.91) on her first try and 6-4.75 (1.95) on a second attempt.
Cunningham, who attempted an American indoor record of 6-8 (2.03), improved her previous best of 6-6.25 (1.99) and now equals the third best U.S. performer with the equal third best performance on the indoor all-time list. For the 2021 indoor season Cunningham is currently second on the world list.
Nikki Hiltz placed third in the 800m in a career best of 2:02.51, improving on her previous best of 2:05.16 from a 2018 race inside the Tyson Center. Great Britain’s Adelle Tracey won the race in 2:02.11.
A career best was set by Shamier Little in claiming the 400m in 51.33 over a 52.12 from Shakima Wimbley in another section. Little, who trains with Arkansas assistant coach Chris Johnson, improved her previous indoor best of 51.74 set in 2016 at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Jenna Prandini sped to a 22.55 victory in the 200m, to a pair of career best efforts from Quanera Hayes (22.70) and Blessing Okagbare (23.01). Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare won the 60m final in a career best of 7.10 to defeat Jamaica’s Christina Williams (7.14), who equaled her career best.
The American Track League 4, originally scheduled for Sunday, February 14, will now take place on Sunday, February 21.