March 9, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Washington State University's Tyson Byers finished third in the men's pole vault during the first day of competition at the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.
Byers, a fifth-year senior from Spokane Valley, Wash., cleared a lifetime-best height of 18-feet, 1/2 inch (5.50m) for third place and All-America honors. It was the second time Byers had reached a PR at a national championship as his previous WSU-best of 17-8 1/2 (5.40m) came at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships where he finished fifth.
"I felt like it was about time this year that I put it together," Byers said after the competition concluded. "I had plenty of height on all the bars, it was just a matter of me hitting the takeoff. After I cleared 18-feet on my third attempt, it was my eighth bar and so my legs were a little tired for the next bar at 18-4 1/2 (5.60m). On my last attempt at 18-4 1/2, it was a real good attempt, and I had the height, I just came down a little bit. With fresher legs I would have had it."
At the opening height of 16-10 3/4, Byers missed his first attempt but cleared on his second try. He cleared the bar at 17-4 1/2 on the first attempt but then has a miss before his clearance with the bar raised to 17-8 1/2, his previous PR. Byers needed all three attempts at the height of 18-0 1/2.
The men's pole vault winner was Brad Gebauer, a senior from McNeese State, and the runner-up was senior Rory Quiller from Binghampton-SUNY, both also clearing 18-0 1/2. The top three places were determined by earlier missed attempts. Byers' placing gave WSU six points in the men's team standings.
By clearing 18-0 1/2, Byers moved from third to second on the WSU all-time men's pole vault list, tying Patrik Johansson's 1989 effort of 18-0 1/2 at Oslo, Norway. Christos Pallakis owns the school pole vault record after clearing a height of 18-6 1/2 indoors in Barcelona in 1995.