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Gruver smashes Husky record in first meet of the year

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Gruver smashes Husky record in first meet of the year

Senior Olivia Gruver attempts a jump during her historic performance at the UW Indoor Preview on Jan. 18, 2020. Gruver, who already owns the NCAA Outdoor record for pole vault, came up one jump short of taking the indoor record too but still shattered UW and Dempsey Indoor records on Saturday.

In her first meet at the Dempsey Indoor Center ever, senior pole vaulter Olivia Gruver set both the Washington and Arena records at the UW Indoor Preview. She jumped 15 feet and three and a half inches, beating the previous Husky record by more than six inches. 

After a record setting outdoor season last spring, Gruver was ready to start out strong in her first indoor season at the UW, but she wasn’t expecting to break records in her first meet of the year.

“My first meet back I wasn’t expecting anything big, as long as I qualified for nationals I’d be happy with it.” Gruver said. “But setting the school record so soon, you can’t beat that the first week.”

Gruver had her eyes set on the collegiate indoor record too, but she fell just one jump short of being able to pair the indoor record with the collegiate outdoor record she set last spring. The senior attributed her training this fall as the reason she was able to go for the record this early on in the season.  

“Jumping this far so early in the season, it feels amazing.” she said. “It tells me that everything I put in for fall training it’s been working.”

Looking ahead Gruver is focused on improving throughout her final college season and hopefully setting the collegiate record she just missed out on today. She also hopes to claim a third NCAA indoor pole vault title, before turning her attention to a possible Olympic bid this summer.

“Right now I’m focused on nationals and a collegiate record.” she said. “Just trying to get there first.”

Two of her teammates also finished in the Top-10 of the pole vault too. Sophomore Makenna Barton and freshman Ashleigh Helms finished the competition in 5th and 6th place respectively.

Gruver and the rest of the Washington track team will return to Dempsey Indoor for the UW Invitational which takes place from Jan. 31 through Feb. 1.

Reach reporter Nick Lombroia at Twitter: @lombroia

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