Olivia Gruver (Franklin) wins second straight NCAA pole vault title for Kentucky
The Baltimore Sun|
Jun 09, 2018 | 1:15 PM
Olivia Gruver (Franklin) is the NCAA women’s pole vault champion again.
Performing for the University of Kentucky, Gruver topped 2016 Olympian Alexis Jacobus of Arkansas for the second-straight year in the 2018 outdoor track and field finals at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Gruver’s winning vault Thursday was 14-feet-11 with Jacobus clearing 14-9.
In just three years, Gruver, who also competes in the high jump, long jump and an occasional relay race for Franklin, has gone from being a novice pole vaulter to one of the best in the country. In her breakthrough indoor season, she set a Maryland record when she vaulted 13 feet to win the Class 3A state championship.
A junior, Gruver cleared the winning height on her first try after missing several earlier first attempts at lower heights. Once she cleared the height of 14-1¼, she relaxed, according to a story on Kentucky’s website.
"It really calmed me down this year knowing that I can do it," Gruver said. "Knowing that if I stayed calm and trusted myself everything would be fine. I started out the (outdoor) season with a fractured ankle, so it's been more about keeping my mental game up, and that really helped in that moment of knowing that I had to clear that bar to win."
She won the NCAA title in 2017 with a vault of 14-9, again beating Jacobus.
Gruver, of Reisterstown, was The Baltimore Sun’s 2014-15 All-Metro indoor track performer of the year. She also won the high school pole vault title at the Penn Relays in 2015 for Franklin.