Wirth advances to NCAAs in thrilling fashion
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – High jumper Mary Wirth advanced to the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships after she tied for eighth overall with her height of 5 feet, 9 3/4 inches at the NCAA West Preliminary Round Saturday night.
Also jumping for SDSU with Wirth was Kali Olson. Olson’s Jackrabbit career came to an end Saturday night as she tied for 13th with her final height of 5-7 3/4. The top-12 heights advanced to the National Championships.
Both Olson and Wirth cruised through the first two heights (5-5 3/4 and 5-7 3/4). The height of 5-9 3/4 was when the high jump became really interesting. Thirty high jumpers advanced to 5-9 3/4 and only 10 cleared the height, including Wirth. Wirth was one of three jumpers to clear the height on their final attempt.
Eight jumpers, including Olson cleared the first two heights without any misses and they would go into a jump-off to determine the final two spots that would advance to the National Championships.
The bar was reset to 5-9 3/4 and Olson missed her first attempt at the bar. Two other high jumpers cleared the bar on their first attempt and advanced onto Eugene, Ore.
Olson entered the meet ranked 43rd in the west region.
Earlier this week, Olson was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 Team. Olson, a recent SDSU graduate from Lisbon, N.D., has received numerous academic awards throughout her Jackrabbit career. She plans to continue her educational career next year, as she will be attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her focus at Whitewater will be in School Psychology. Olson graduated from SDSU with a 4.00 grade-point average as a Psychology major.
Her academic achievements include: recipient of the 2014 Jackrabbit Scholar-Athlete Award, two-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic (2011 & 2013), Academic All-Summit League honoree, Summit League Distinguished Scholar, Summit League Academic Honor Roll and a member of The Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.
In the high jump event, she ranks tied for fourth in the indoor high jump (5-8) and is tied for second in the outdoor high jump (5-8 3/4) at SDSU. She was named All-Summit League for placing third in the high jump event at the 2013 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships. At the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Olson placed fourth with her personal-best height of 5-8 3/4.
With Wirth finishing tied for eighth, she will now advance to Eugene, Ore., for the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The high jump event is slated for a start time of 12:45 p.m. PDT on June 14.