Hartwig records best indoor pole vault at DakotaDome

Hartwig records best indoor pole vault at DakotaDome
American record holder Jeff Hartwig of Nike recorded the best pole vault in the world this indoor season by going 5.85 meters (19'02.25 feet) in a special pole vault exhibition at the DakotaDome Feb 18.

Competing at USD's John Dalton Memorial Open track and field meet, Hartwig also reached a unique milestone by vaulting over 19 feet for the 100th time in his career.

Hartwig, of Jonesboro, AR, also broke Olympian Derek Miles' DakotaDome record of 19'01.25. Hartwig put together his world's best indoor mark at the third annual "Derek Miles and Friends Pole Vault Competition," which included a world-class field. The group of vaulters included Olympians Toby Stevenson of Chula Vista, CA, and Derek Miles of Jonesboro, AR, along with upcoming standout Jeremy Scott of Jonesboro, AR.

Also in the field was Sam Pribyl of the USD men's track and field team. Pribyl had a vault of 17'01 which tied Matt Campbell of Missouri Southern for the best jump in NCAA Division II this indoor season. In the process, Pribyl broke the school record of Miles' (16-9) set in 1996.

The results of the competition included Hartwig, 5.85 meters (19'02.25); Jeremy Scott, second, 5.31 meters (17'05) and Sam Pribyl was third at 5.21 meters (17'01). Toby Stevenson of Nike and Derek Miles of Bell Athletics/Nike did not clear a height.

At the age of 38, Hartwig is enjoying an outstanding start to the 2006 campaign. He already has won the Millrose Games in New York City by going 18'09.25 and then was victorious at the Tyson Invitational at the University of Arkansas (18'08) in February. Hartwig's jump at the DakotaDome continues his momentum heading into the USA Indoor Championships.

"I felt so good coming into this meet," said Hartwig. "Anytime you get to a milestone (100 times over 19 feet), you often will play it cautious. On the jump, I figured if I got my pole moving, built good speed and went high, the momentum would carry me over the bar," said Hartwig, an Olympian in 1996 and the four-time USA Outdoor champion.

"I feel I am where I want to be. I am in good shape and things are breaking for me," added Hartwig. "Another thing with the caliber of competition here, it is special to be able to jump so well."

Hartwig credited USD track coaches Lucky Huber and Dave Gottsleben for putting together a strong field.

"Every vaulter knows that each time you compete on any given day you can beat anyone or they can beat you. It was great jumping with great friends," said Hartwig.

"I also have to thank Derek Miles for starting this competition three years ago. I hope I can continue to be part of a pole vaulting competition here and start a tradition."

Hartwig's jump is just the third time a pole vaulter has surpassed 19 feet (5.85 meters) at the DakotaDome or in the state of South Dakota. Miles, a 1996 USD graduate, vaulted 19'01.25 in 2002 to set the previous Dome mark and went 19'0.25 in 2005 at the Derek Miles and Friends competition.

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