GVSU - Hixson Finishes Ninth in Pole Vault Finals at U.S. Olympic Team Trials

GVSU - Hixson Finishes Ninth in Pole Vault Finals at U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Provided by GVSU

Grand Valley State alum and three-time NCAA Division II National Champion Kristen Hixson placed ninth overall in the pole vault finals at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Sunday afternoon (July 10) in Eugene, Ore.

Hixson opened the finals on Sunday by clearing 4.40m on her first try, one of just four athletes to do so on their opening attempt. She then missed her first attempt on the 4.50m bar, but cleared that height on her second try.

Unfortunately, Hixson was unable to clear 4.60m on each of her three attempts at that height, ending her bid to qualify for the Rio Olympics, as only the top three finishers make the United States Olympic team.

Hixson advanced to Sunday's finals by clearing 4.35m on her first attempt during Friday's (July 8) qualifying round. The 4.35m height clearance made her part of a four-way tie for 11th place and Hixson moved onto the finals as a member of a 14-athlete advancing group. The competition began on Friday with 24 individuals.

During her incredible GVSU career, Hixson was a three-time Division II National Champion and a seven-time USTFCCCA All-American. She won both the indoor and outdoor national titles in 2012, while capping her career in 2014 with another outdoor national championship. The 2014 competition was held on the Grand Valley State campus in Allendale.

She qualified to participate in the Olympic Team Trials by clearing 4.65m earlier in the year, earning her a seventh-place ranking entering the weekend's competition.

The 2016 Rio Olympics are from August 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.