June 8, 2012
Mike Woepse and Alec Faldermeyer capped off the Bruin men's competition at the NCAA Championships on a high note as both earned first-team All-American honors in their respective events. Woepse finished second in the pole vault, while Faldermeyer was third in the hammer.
Woepse passed opening height of 16-4.75 and then cleared 16-10.75 on his first attempt. The bar then moved to 17-4.50 and he missed on his first attempt, but was able to clear the bar on his second try and continued on in the competition. The bar then moves to 17-8.50 and Woepse cleared it on his first attempt. Next up was 18-00.50 and he missed on his first attempt, but cleared on his second try as the bar would move up to his lifetime-best of 18-2.50.
He only needed one attempt at 18-2.50 to clear it and moved into first-place. The bar then moved to 18-4.50 and Woepse missed on his first attempt and fell to second after Oral Roberts' Jack Whitt cleared on his first try. Woepse then passed his final two attempts at the height as the bar would move up to 18-6.50 . He missed on his first try and then passed the next to attempts. The bar moved up to 18-8.25 with three men left in the competition, but he could not clear it on his final attempt in the competition. He passed on certain bars and kept attempting higher heights in an effort to shore up any tie-breakers. Woepse would go on to finish second in the event to earn the first first-team All-America honor of his career. Last year he finished tied for 20th.
Woepse posted the highest finish for a Bruin vaulter since 2007 when Mike Landers also placed second.
"Woepse did a phenomenal job today," said Head Coach Mike Maynard. "He was battling for the title right until the very end. When he cleared 18-2.50 on his first attempt, we thought that would win it, but Oral Roberts' Whitt cleared 18-6.50 on his first attempt and moved into first. Mike was so close on his first try at 18-6.50, barely knocking the bar off with his arm. He was just so close to winning the title, but still had a great competition."
Faldermeyer was the last thrower in his flight for hammer, which helped show exactly what mark he needed to get into the finals. He opened up his competition with a throw of 220-9 and stood in first-place in his flight after round one and third overall. His second throw was a sector foul. He then improved to 224-3 on his third throw and earned three more throws in the competition.
In the finals, he opened up with another foul and maintained his third-place spot. His fourth throw went for a distance of 222-1 and he continued to stand in third-place with just one throw remaining. His last throw was a foul, but it didn't matter as he would finish third overall to post the highest NCAA finish of his career. This is Faldermeyer's fourth first-team All-America honor. His finish also marks the highest finish by a Bruin men's hammer thrower since 1988 when David Wilson finished second. Faldy's third-place showing was also the highest finish in any throws event for the Bruin men since 2001 when Scott Moser placed third in the discus.
"Alec did a great job today," added Maynard. "To finish third as a true sophomore is a great thing and speaks volumes for the future of our team. The same goes for Mike's second-place finish today as he is also just a sophomore. Matthew Kosecki, also a sophomore, narrowly missed a spot in the discus final and with our incoming signees and athletes who have redshirted this season, the future is very bright for our team.
"Right now we are ninth (17 pts.) after three days of competition and will just have to wait and see what happens on Saturday to see where we finish as a team. We came in ranked 24th and feel like we will finish inside the top 25."
Last year, the men's team finished 37th with seven points.