Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jungmark and Walker claim medals at IAAF world indoors...

ISTANBUL, Turkey--On her 25th birthday, former Washington State University standout Ebba Jungmark (left/photo by Paul Merca) picked up a most unexpected birthday present--a silver medal in her first major world international meet, finishing in a three way tie for second with a jump of 6-4 3/4 (1.95m).

Jungmark, along with Italy's Antonietta Di Martino, and reigning world outdoor champ Anna Chicherova, were clean through the first four heights--6-0 1/2 (1.84m), 6-2 (1.88m), 6-3 1/2 (1.92m), and 6-4 3/4 (1.95m), but all three missed at the eventual winning mark of 6-6 (1.98m), a mark cleared only by winner Chaunte Lowe of Team USA.

Afterwards, the former Cougar, who won an NCAA indoor title in her one season at Washington State in 2008, and won the bronze medal at last year's European indoor championships, said to Swedish television SVT, "I am completely shocked. It has not gotten to me."

"I am very happy to have won my first World Championships medal on my birthday. My parents are here and I am going to celebrate with them and the Swedish team. My country has always been strong in the high jump and I am happy to keep that traditition. This medal helps me dream high for the Olympics."

In the men's pole vault, former Washington Husky Brad Walker, who won a world indoor title in 2006, returned to the podium, finishing third, with a jump of 19-0 1/2 (5.80m), as Renaud Lavillinie of France took the victory with a clearance of 19-6 1/4 (5.90m), with Germany's Bjorn Otto finishing second, also at 19-0 1/2 (5.80m).

Another Washington Husky, Scott Roth, failed to clear the opening height of 18-0 1/2 (5.50m).

Afterwards, Walker, the American record holder, who has battled injuries over the last several years, said, “I have never left a World Indoor Championships empty handed. This is my first bronze, but I am happy to get on the podium. I had to make a third attempt and I thought that would get me a medal. I just had to put it together. I am happy with my result and I know what I need to sort out between now and London."

Complete day 2 results are available here.


In Mankato, Minnesota, Seattle Pacific senior Ali Worthen from Coos Bay, Oregon closed with a career-best time in the 800-meter run, helping her lock up an All-American sixth-place finish with 3,763 points – also a career best -- in the women's pentathlon at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Teammate Katy Gross from Everett wound up 13th with 3,071 points. Gross was added to the competition on Wednesday as the result of a late scratch by a competitor who already had been entered into the meet.

Another Falcon, sophomore McKayla Fricker delivered a PR of her own in the individual 800 title race. Using what has become a trademark late kick, Fricker moved from last place all the way up to fifth, securing All-American status in 2 minutes, 11.69 seconds.

Western Washington University freshman Brittany Grandy from Sedro Wooley placed 14th in the women's high jump with a leap of 5-4 1/2 (1.64m).

Complete results from the NCAA Division II championships are available here.

NOTE: The IAAF, USA Track & Field and the sports information offices at Seattle Pacific and Western Washington contributed to this report.

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