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Olivia Gruver (Franklin) wins second straight NCAA pole vault title for Kentucky

Olivia Gruver (Franklin) wins second straight NCAA pole vault title for Kentucky
Kentucky's Olivia Gruver (Franklin) won the women's pole vault at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field on Thursday with a vault of 14-feet-11. (Andy Nelson / AP)

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.

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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.

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