For the first time in her outdoor career, MIT junior Cimran Virdi won the national championship in the pole vault, registering a clear of 13 feet 7.25 inches at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championship, hosted by St. Lawrence University.
This is Virdi's third national title, after capturing the last two indoor national championships. She is just the second outdoor national champion in the history of the MIT women’s track and field program; Jacqui Wentz ’10 won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2010.
As at the NCAA Division III Indoor National Championship two months ago, Virdi and Westminster College junior Marissa Kalsey competed for the top spot in the event. Both student-athletes matched clears throughout the progression before Virdi secured the crown by edging Kalsey by almost 4 inches.
Virdi's success third season included wins in each pole vault event this spring. Earlier this month, she established a new NCAA Division III record in the event with a clear of 14 feet, which helped the Engineers claim their second straight New England Division III crown. Virdi earned all-conference honors from the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, and was recently named the New England Division III Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.