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DES MOINES — Twice, Sandi Morris needed a clutch third-attempt clearance to keep her pole vault streak alive.
Twice, Morris came through.
“I always seem to be strong mentally on my third attempt,” Morris said.
Morris captured her fifth consecutive Drake Relays title in the women’s invitational pole vault — dubbed “Journey To Gold” this year, in reference to this summer’s Tokyo Summer Olympics — and pocketed a larger-than-life $3,000 check Saturday afternoon at Drake Stadium.
Down to her final attempt, Morris cleared 15 feet, 1 inch. Same story at 15-5, and she did it again.
“It was rough out there with the wind,” said Morris, a 28-year-old and the 2016 Olympic silver medalist and current American record holder. “I was making adjustments, but it was very difficult. I’m very happy I was able to survive.”
Morris’ five straight titles is a Drake record.
“Wow, that’s really cool,” she said. “Drake has been really good to me.
“Consistency is key, no matter what event you’re talking about. I want to be over 4.80 meters (15-9) at every meet, so I wasn’t super happy with today, but today was tricky.”
In other Journey To Gold highlights:
• Lisbon native Alexina Wilson — a 2015 UNI grad and current assistant coach for the Panthers — set a personal best of 4:11.16 in the 1,500. She placed sixth.
Josette Norris won it in 4:06.17.
“I’m pumped right now,” Norris said. “I’ve never been in a 1,500 field so competitive. That finish at the end ... it’s OK if people are around. It’s normal. I just needed to be patient and see who can close.”
• Gianna Woodruff set a Panamanian national record in the 400-meter hurdles, at 55.02. She is the 2021 world leader in that event.
North Dakota State wins tiebreaker for Hy-Vee Cup
North Dakota State and Iowa State both scored 24 points in the Hy-Vee Cup competition, with the Bison taking the Cup home thanks to a tiebreaker.
Iowa State scored its points in the sprint medley relay (second), 1,600-meter relay (third), 3,200 relay (fourth) and distance medley (fourth).
ISU ran 3:41.68 in the 4x400, finishing behind North Carolina A&T and Houston.
In the distance medley, Notre Dame won in a meet-record 11:03.25. The Cyclones were fourth behind Cailie Logue’s 4:39 1,600-meter anchor. Mount Vernon native Maggie Davis ran a 2:14.5 800.
In other University Division highlights Saturday:
- Four of the top five finishers in the 100-meter dash were from North Carolina A&T, including champ Symone Darius, in 11.45 seconds.
- North Dakota State’s Shelby Gunnells followed Friday’s runner-up finish in the shot put with a sixth-place effort of 198 feet, 2 inches in the hammer. Gunnells is a Solon native.
- North Carolina A&T (43.95 seconds) edged Houston by 1-hundredth of a second and ran the fastest Drake 400-meter relay since 2012.
- Houston’s Naomi Taylor won the 100-meter hurdles in a wind-aided 12.84. The Drake record is 12.87.