KU's Scott Claims Kansas Pole Vault Title

April 22, 2011

LAWRENCE, Kan. – It didn’t really hit Kansas senior pole vaulter Jordan Scott that the Kansas Relays would be the final home meet of his career until just a few days ago.

Someone mentioned it to him this week and it took awhile for that realization to sink in that he would never perform in Memorial Stadium wearing KU blue and crimson ever again.

Scott made the most of his final KU appearance at home by winning the pole vault Friday afternoon. And he did so in style sporting one of his traditional dye jobs in his blonde hair.

The victory did not come easy. Three vaulters each reached 17-6.50, but Scott claimed individual honors based on having the fewest misses of the trio.

His win came against a nationally-ranked pole vault veteran in Jacob Pauli and an outstanding freshman at Eastern Illinois in Michael Viken. KU freshman Alex Bishop was fourth in the 20-man field at 16-10.75.

Pauli, the 2001 NCAA Champion and an Olympic Trials finalist in 2000, 2004 and 2008, had won Kansas Relays pole vault titles in 2005, 2006 and last year.

Scott won the 2009 Relays title and was ready to put his name back on the winners list again.

Scott passed on each of the first five heights before easily clearing at 16-10.75 and 17-2.75. After a miss at 17-6.50, he cleared that height on his next attempt.

Meanwhile, Pauli needed all three of his attempts to clear 17-6.50, while Viken needed just two trys. Viken was penalized by missing on his first attempt at 17-6.75 early in the competition.

“The wind was changing around, “Pauli said. “I warmed up in a head win so I was all adjusted for a not-so-good wind. On my last three jumps the wind became perfect and I was unable to handle it. It was not a great day.”

All three final competitors failed to clear the 17-10.5 mark, although it appeared Scott was going to be successful on his final attempt, until knocking the bar off at the last moment.

“It felt so good that I thought I had enough height,” Scott explained. “I just kind of sailed over it instead of pushing to get that extra inch. I kind of nicked the bar and I deserved that.”

When asked what he hit on the bar Scott said he didn’t know and joked that maybe the wind blew the bar off and a video replay was needed.

Scott, whose mark was his second-best height this spring, behind an 18-00.5 performance at the Texas Relays said that while he is still working on some different things, it felt good to cap his home career with a victory.

“I didn’t think about it (last home meet), until another guy mentioned it,” Scott said. “It is my last home meet ever. I am glad I won it. It is a good note to go out on.”

Known for his colorful, decorated hair styles, Scott featured a full-color Jayhawk on the back of his white mane Friday.

“I took a break from dying it the last few meets because I have been working on things and I didn’t want to draw attention to myself when I am not going to jump that high,” Scott said. “For the Kansas Relays I had to bring it back to get the crowd into it.”

It also got Scott into the winners circle again.