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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Brady Palen tied Wichita State’s 38-year-old high jump school record with his win Friday at the Arkansas qualifier. “I had a good day and I knew I could always jump that high because I saw it on video,” Palen said. “I just needed things to come together, and they came together beautifully today. I’m really proud of myself and all my team-mates here today.” The second year of Beloit, Kan. he had three consecutive indoor personal bests, finishing with a 2.22m/7’3.25″ lead that tied the school record and ranked first in the American Athletic Conference and fifth in the NCAA.
T- SCHOOL REGISTER- 1⃣st @AmericanXCTrack T-5⃣th @NCAATrackField 2.22m/7’3.25″ pic.twitter.com/FqurqycWLl
— Wichita State T&F/XC (@GoShockersTFXC) February 18, 2023
“This is really exciting for me, for Brady, for our program and for the high jumpers on our team because he’s headed to the national meet,” said coach Steve Rainbolt. With the top 16 athletes from each event qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, Palen is in a solid position to make the cut and would be the first male high jumper in the Rainbolt era to qualify for the NCAA Championships, indoor or outdoors. “This is a wonderful guy, a totally special guy, so he’s been really fun and sets us up well for next week in a really tough high jump contest with the young guy from South Florida, and it’s so exciting for him to be headed in Albuquerque,” Rainbolt said. Palen had consistently cleared 2.10m throughout the indoor season, but felt frustrated that he hadn’t utilized the potential shown by his jumps. “It was a long indoor season with jumps of 2.10 bars every week and I was getting really frustrated so that was great [to PR multiple times]”said Palen. “I’m super excited for next week’s conference. I know I can compete with my competition that beat me last year, both indoors and outdoors, and I know I can make the next bar.” Destiny Masters made a Shocker high jump sweep, besting the 1.80m best m/5′ of the season 10.75″ to win the event and advance to 35th place in the NCAA Friday at the Arkansas Qualifier. The Masters clearance was just an inch off her personal best and she finished fourth in the American Athletic Conference just one week away from the indoor conference championships. Mattelyn Swartz cleared 1.70m/5’7″ for the fifth time this season (1.71m last week) to finish sixth and currently ranks 11th in the conference. Ezinne Okoro posted the best finish Shocker in the triple jump with a leap of 11.81 m /38’9″, placing fifth. In the 60m hurdles, Joseph Holthusen missed the final by one point, running 8.02 in ninth. The Shockers travel to Birmingham, Alabama on February 24 and 25 for the AAC Indoor Championships.