HUNTSVILLE - He has already made waves on the international stage this summer, now Sam Houston State sophomore Clayton Fritsch gets to show his fellow countrymen what he can do.
Fritsch will be competing against the top pole vaulters in the country when he takes part in the United States Track and Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa Saturday.
“I’m excited to compete against some of the best in the world and represent Sam Houston at the same time,” Fritsch said. “It’s always an awesome feeling to compete for an opportunity to represent Team USA.”
Fritsch easily surpassed the USATF qualifying mark of 18 feet, 5 ¼ inches in May when he placed third at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin. His vault of 18 feet, 10 ¼ inches is also the sixth-best height heading into Saturday behind Sam Hendricks and Chris Nilsen (19 feet, 6 ¼ inches), Matt Ludwig (19 feet, 1 ½ inches), Cole Walsh (19 feet, ½ inch) and Zachery Bradford (18 feet, 11 inches).
Fritsch won the pole vault competition for Team USA at the 2019 U-23 North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association Championships last month in Querétaro, Mexico. His mark of 18 feet, 4 ½ inches also set the meet record.
Fritsch was named a first-team All-American by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association following the outdoor season. He also placed seventh at the NCAA indoor championships last fall, which also makes him the first Sam Houston State student-athlete to be both an indoor and outdoor first-team All-American honoree.
The USATF Outdoor Championships will be streamed online on NBC Sports Gold. Click here for the streaming schedule.