Sophomore Jennifer VanderMeer of Holland, Mich. (Holland HS) achieved NCAA All-America recognition for the second consecutive year as she tied for second place in the pole vault at the Division III championships being held in Waverly, Iowa at Wartburg College.
It marks the second year in-a-row that VanderMeer has won the Division III silver medal in the event.
This year's competition had a rather unusual finish. VanderMeer was one of six vaulters to clear 12 feet, 2 1/2 inches. Some officials declared VanderMeer the winner based of the fewest misses during the competition because VanderMeer's miss came at a higher height than other competitors. However, a review of NCAA championship rules for the event determined that there should be a vault-off based on fewest total misses. That pitted VanderMeer against two other vaulters -- Stephanie Barnes of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Chelsea Sherier in a showdown for the gold medal.
Given just a single vault, all three failed to clear 12 feet, 6 1/2 inches. The same was true at 12 feet, 3 1/2 inches. Finally, Barnes cleared 12 feet, 0 1/2 inches to win the gold medal while VanderMeer and Sherier each missed and were forced to share the silver.
VanderMeer's tied her Hope record with the 12 feet, 2 1/2 inch vault. Her height was identical to her silver medal performance of a year ago.
In other Thursday competition, sophomore Ryan TerLouw of Pella, Iowa (Pella HS) advanced to Saturday's finals in the 1,500-meter run. With 12 runners advancing to the finals, he was tenth (3:58.62) in the field of 16. Competing at nationals for the second consecutive year, TerLow as a freshman was 13th in the preliminaries.
Junior Jeff Weber of Grandville, Mich. (Grandville HS) did not advance to the finals of the 1,500 as he finished 16th (4:04.40) in the prelims.
Freshman Lindsay Lange of Manistee, Mich. (Manistee HS) missed qualifying for the final in the 400-meter hurdles finishing 10th in the field of 20 competitors with a time of 1:03.38. The top eight finishers advanced. Lange will have two more opportunities as she competes Friday in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter dash.
Also competing Friday will be sophomore Aaron Kenemer of Zeeland, Mich. (Zeeland HS) in the 800-meter run.