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Cal Poly's Tjerrild Ties for 13th Place at First NCAA Prelims Meet

Cal Poly's Tjerrild Ties for 13th Place at First NCAA Prelims Meet

SACRAMENTO — Cal Poly freshman Brooke Tjerrild tied for 13th place in the women's pole vault on Friday night at the West Preliminary Round of the NCAA Track & Field Championships, finishing just one spot back of advancing to the national finals.

Tjerrild finished with a clearance of 13 feet, 4.5 inches at Hornet Stadium, needing only one attempt at the height — as did Kansas' Laura Taylor and Texas' Shay Petty in a three-way share of 13th.

Tjerrild, Taylor and Petty had also cleared the opening bar, 12' 10.75", on their initial tries.

The trio just missed staying alive by the slimmest of margins, as Stanford's Erika Malaspina and Air Force's Kathryn Tomczak were able to clear the next, ultimately decisive progression — 13' 8.5" — on attempts No. 3.

There was a five-way tie for first place at the 13' 8.5" mark, including the top seed, Arkansas junior Alexis Jacobus (ranked 13th in the world for 2018). The Top 12 moved on to Oregon for June 6-9 on ESPN.

The West Region first-round qualifiers from Sacramento State will be joined in Eugene by 12 qualifiers from the East Region, simultaneously ongoing this week in Tampa (hosted by South Florida). Combined, the 24 student-athletes also earn at least All-American Honorable Mentions in moving on to Hayward Field.

Tjerrild won the Big West championship on May 11, and her top clearance of the season, 13' 7.25" from the Cal Poly Invitational on March 24, was three-quarters of an inch off the school record by 1999 NCAA champion Paula Serrano.

A Kinesiology major from Fresno, Tjerrild was selected as the conference's Women's Field Athlete of Week on March 27 & March 6.

Two Mustangs will compete on Day 3, as sophomore Abi Iriafen is scheduled for the women's triple jump NCAA first round at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, before senior Swarnjit Boyal in the men's 5,000-meter semifinals at 8:05 p.m.