Jan. 26, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Sandy Fortner placed fifth in her first pentathlon of the year with a score of 3,691 points to lead the University of New Mexico on Friday at Penn State's National Invitational meet. Fortner's score was just nine points off the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and 18 shy of her career-high.
Senior Robert Caldwell, however, didn't fare as well, missing on all three attempts at his opening height of 16' 4 3/4" (5.00m) in Friday night's men's invitational pole vault competition. Caldwell cleared 17' 2 3/4" in his season debut on Jan. 5 at the National Pole Vault Summit, but has been hampered by knee pain and the flu in recent weeks.
Fortner got off to an excellent start on Friday morning, recording indoor career bests in the high jump and shot put en route to a 58-point lead through three events. After clocking a time of 8.38 (T8th overall) in the 55-meter hurdles, she tied for second with a leap of 5' 5 1/4" (1.66m) in the high jump then blew away the field with mark of 42' 4" (12.90m) in the shot put. The toss was almost four feet beyond her previous indoor best and more than five feet ahead of her nearest competitor.
The next event wasn't as kind, however, as Fortner was unable to find her rhythm in the long jump. A regular around 19 feet in the event, she placed eighth overall with a mark of 17' 1 1/4" (5.21m) and finished the day with a 10th place finish in the 800 (2:36.90).
Penn State All-American Gayle Hunter won the competition with a score of 4,073.