State Colleges

Northwest Nazarene’s Payton Lewis wins pole vault national title

Northwest Nazarene’s Payton Lewis competes at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Northwest Nazarene’s Payton Lewis competes at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Courtesy of NNU Athletics.

Payton Lewis (Nampa Christian High) cleared a school-record 17 feet, 7 inches to win the third NCAA Division II championship in Crusaders’ history.

He cleared the height on his first attempt at the IMG Academy, besting Central Missouri’s Cole Phillips, who needed three tries at the same height.

Lewis is a four-time All-American who has two previous third place finishes.

Distance runner Ashley Puga (Nampa Christian High) won the other two national titles for NNU, taking the indoor and outdoor 800-meter titles in 2009.

BOISE STATE TRACK AND FIELD: Allison Jeffries (Eagle High) reset her school record in the pole vault (13 feet, 9.25 inches) but lost a three-way jump off to qualify for nationals at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships in Austin, Texas. Jeffries ends her career with both the indoor and outdoor school records. Sadi Henderson won her 800 meter heat, qualifying for Friday’s quarterfinal. On the men’s side, Fernando Martinez (400 hurdles), Andrew Rafla (1500) and Addison Deh (1500) each advanced to the quarterfinals.

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