EUGENE, Ore. — The weather at the NCAA Track and Field Championships Wednesday produced unfortunate timing for Michael Gonzalez of North Texas track and field in his first NCAA Finals appearance and the first for a UNT pole vaulter since 2009 as he was unable to attain a height inside Hayward Field.
Gonzalez entered the competition ranked as the 15th vaulter in the field of 24 following his performance at the NCAA West Preliminaries where he registered a North Texas record vault of 5.45 meters.
“I am really proud of Michael’s competition at the national championships,” director of track and field Carl Sheffield said. “He and Coach Derek Mackel did a great job in preparing for this opportunity.”
In Eugene, Gonzalez opened the evening at 5.45 meters during consistent rain. In his first attempt he struggled to keep the pole dry as it eventually slipped through his hands, but fortunately that attempt was waived. During his second and third attempt, the rain continued to play a factor and left Gonzalez with one final run. His last attempt fell short to conclude one of the most recent decorated Mean Green seasons.
“I’m looking forward to Michael’s off-season and preparation for his next year at UNT. We already started to talk about how this experience will affect him and the team when he returns to Denton. Hopefully he can share the positive experience and how he can help others prepare. We return a lot of upperclassmen next year that should have an opportunity to accompany him back to Oregon,” Sheffield said.