McWhorter, Witsken shine at Indoor National Championships


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – BYU pole vaulters Zach McWhorter and Caleb Witsken each recorded top-10 finishes and garnered All-American honors at the 2022 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships at the CrossPlex on Friday.

"It's safe to say that we have the No. 1 pole vault program in the country," said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. "I'm very proud of the determination and focus shown by both Zach and Caleb." 

McWhorter finished second with a clearance of 5.70m/18-8.25, good for First Team All-American honors. The sophomore pole vaulter has now finished national runner-up in back-to-back seasons while also claiming his third consecutive indoor All-American citation. McWhorter defeated Clayton Fritsch of Sam Houston State in a second straight meet after exceeding Fritsch’s clearance at the USATF Indoor Championships on Feb. 26.

Sondre Guttormsen of Princeton took home the individual national title. 

"It was tough for Zach to come into this meet with a target on his back," said Eyestone. "He was well prepared and showed great mental fortitude to compete as well as he did knowing everyone was chasing him." 

Witsken took 10th in Birmingham, Ala. as he cleared 5.45m/17-10.5 and was named Second Team All-America. The junior from Logandale, Nev. came in on top of opponents such as Eerick Haamer of South Dakota and Keaton Daniel of Kentucky, while finishing just short of Ohio State’s Luke Bendick. Witsken has now earned Second Team All-American honors in back-to-back indoor seasons.

Together, McWhorter and Witsken collected eight points for the BYU men and became, respectively, the 68th and 69th indoor All-Americans in program history.

Friday capped off a season of new heights for McWhorter. The Springdale, Arkansas native broke his own school record twice as he led all Division I men’s pole vaulters for much of the 2022 indoor campaign. McWhorter set the current BYU record of 5.85m/19-2.25 at the Columbia Challenge in New York City on Feb. 4. This ranked McWhorter No. 5 all-time in Division I, among former collegian greats such as KC Lightfoot of Baylor and LSU’s Mondo Duplantis.

Witsken likewise vaulted up the BYU record books with a clearance of 5.55m/18-2.5 at the BYU Indoor February Meet on Feb. 25. With the clearance, Witsken surpassed 2002 National Champion Jeff Hansen and now stands at No. 3 in school history.