(Picture by SFA Athletics)
EUGENE, OR — Branson Ellis continues to elevate his performance to new heights; literally. The junior East Texan added another accolade to his impressive career late on Wednesday night in Eugene, winning the national title in the men’s pole vault event. Ellis’ national title is the second in program history and first since 2015 when fellow vaulter Demi Payne captured the title with an impressive performance of her own.
Entering the competition seeded within the Top 5 nationally, Ellis still hand to contend with a loaded field of competitors, including Clayton Fritsch (Sam Houston), Zach Bradford (Kansas), Husain Al Hiram (Kansas) and Ethan Bray (South Dakota). Branson began his claim to the title at the 5.45m bar, then cleared 5.55m on his second try, and 5.65 and 5.70m on his first attempts. After Kentucky’s Keaton Daniels was unable to clear 5.70, the win was Branson’s, who continued on to try and clear 5.82m. Despite missing on three attempts at that height, the day still belonged to Branson and his signature cowboy hat.
Competition at the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships continues today and through Saturday.