5.19.14 WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD: All-American Foster Prepares for Final Meet

Women's Track & Field, 2014-05-19

(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) – The storied collegiate career of Stephanie Foster (Sr., Lodi, OH/Cloverleaf) will come to a close at the NCAA Division II National Championships this Thursday. The All-American has won many awards and accolades and will look to add a national championship to that list.

Foster comes in with the second-best mark in the nation at 4.13 meters, or 13’ 6.5”. The height automatically qualified her for the national meet and broke the school record she set in 2012. She reached that mark at the GLIAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Foster finished runner-up at the meet to Grand Valley’s Kristen Hixson.

Hixson bested the mark that won her the GLIAC title last week at the GVSU Last Chance Meet where she cleared 4.38 meters, or 14’ 4.5”. Hixson will also be aided by the home ‘field’ advantage as the national championships will be hosted by Grand Valley in Allendale, Michigan.

The setup is very similar to the indoor season in which Foster had the second-best mark in the nation going into the national meet behind Hixson. In the championship, Foster finished fourth to earn her All-American status with a height of 3.70 meters. Brigitte Gross of Sioux Falls won the event with a vault of 3.95 meters.

When Foster hasn’t finished first at a meet, it’s usually a result of facing Division I competition. This was the case in the Jesse Owens Track Classic at Ohio State and the Akron Campbell Wright Open. The only other Division II competitor aside from Hixson to defeat her this season was Slippery Rock’s Julia Cain at the Gator Invitational at Allegheny College.

Foster finished third in the event with a vault of 4.05 meters on her second attempt. Cain also cleared the same height, but did so in her first attempt to earn second place. It was Cain’s best height of the season and fourth-best in the nation. Gross, the indoor national champion, has the third-best mark at 4.10 meters.

The winner of that competition was none other than Jenn Suhr. If the name sounds unfamiliar, she was the gold medal winner in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Suhr’s mark of 4.67 in the event is the best in the world for this year.

The 2014 NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track & Field Championships will take place from Thursday, May 22, through Saturday, May 24 at the Grand Valley State University Track & Field Stadium. Despite it being a three-day event, the pole vault finals will be on the first day and is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.