|Klas headed to College Station|
MOSCOW, Idaho - University of Idaho junior track and field athlete Jeremy Klas posted the nation's fifth-best pole vault mark two weeks ago, and on Monday, the Moscow, Idaho, native officially stamped his ticket to a second-straight NCAA Indoor Championship meet.
Klas, the two-time reigning Western Athletic Conference indoor champion in the pole vault, became Idaho's first men's indoor national qualifier in the event last season, then after a ninth-place finish at the NCAA meet, became the team's first indoor All-American in the vault.
"It's a very impressive accomplishment, and I think this year, going in ranked as high as he is and making some good attempts at the height that is No. 1 in the nation, I think it bodes really well for him to battle for a national title," Idaho head coach Wayne Phipps said.
After clearing a school-record height of 17-9 (5.41m) two weeks ago at the WSU Open II at Pullman, Wash., Klas came just short of the automatic qualifying standard, but still all but assured himself of the national bid for the third time in his career.
Klas was also a qualifier to last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships. He holds both the Idaho indoor and outdoor school records in the vault. Phipps said his experience from last year's big meets is going to give him a solid edge going into Friday's competition.
"He's very focused, and I think don't think the competition or the atmosphere is going to bother him one bit," Phipps said. "With the way he performed last year, I think he's going in with a lot of confidence."
Also on Monday, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its final regional and national polls for the indoor season, and the Idaho men were ranked 12th in the West Region and 56th nationally.