Stockton University junior pole vaulter Lauren Preston cleared a personal-best 12-3 1/2 Thursday and placed fifth at the NCAA Division 3 Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
Preston earned All-America honors for her performance at her first NCAA meet.
Preston had just PR’d at 12-2 1/2 in her last meet, the AARTFC Championships at St. John Fisher in Rochester last weekend, to qualify for nationals. Her lifetime best as recently as March was 10-6.
Preston, who attended Conrad Weiser High School just outside Robesonia, Pa., cleared 12-1 1/2 on her second attempt and then 12-3 1/2 on her first attempt. She missed three tries at another PR of 12-5 1/2. The official results don’t show what height she entered the competition.
With a top-8 finish, Preston becomes Stockton’s fifth pole vault All-America, joining Kim Marino of Middletown North (2003, 2004), Rachel Joseph of Livingston (2010), Chelsea Vaughan of Southern Regional (2014, 2015, 2016) and Millville’s Kaitlyn Derman (2018). Five of Stockton’s 11 All-America selections have been vaulters.
At Conrad Weiser, Preston had a PR of 10-6 from the 2018 PIAA District 3 AAA Championships at Shippensburg.