Luke Winder ’18 extended a winning streak few have equaled. At the NCAA Division III National Indoor Track & Field Championships, he won a third straight individual national championship in the pole vault.
Winder entered the meet as the favorite. Two-thirds of the 15-man field had been eliminated before he entered the competition. Winder sealed his third straight national-championship win by clearing 17 feet, 4 ½ inches on his second attempt.
With the victory in hand, he elected to have the bar raised to 18 feet, 1 ¼ inches, in an attempt to break the North Central indoor record of 18 feet, ½ inch held by brother Jake Winder ’10 since 2009 and the Division III meet record of 18 feet, 1 inch established in 2004.
On the third and final attempt, Winder sailed over the bar. “I just came out and performed,” he said. “Coming down, I saw the bar and I didn't even touch it, and I couldn't hold in my emotions. I just flipped out and ran back down the runway.”