EUGENE, Ore. -- UTA freshman Helen Falda will earn All-America honors after tying for eighth place in the pole vault on the second day of competition at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The native of Turin, Italy, cleared 4.15 meters (13-7 1/4) on her first try after also being successful on her first attempt at 4.00 meters (13-1 1/2). Falda missed her three tries at 4.30 meters.
Falda is the first UTA female to become an All-American in any event since Jasmine Walls in the 200 meters in 2009. Falda's eighth-place showing equals the fourth-best finish in school history by any female at an outdoor NCAA meet.
"We are so proud of Helen," UTA coach John Sauerhage said. "To do what she did as a freshman is remarkable. (Coach) Devin (Rodriguez) did a tremendous job working with her. We are very excited for her future here."
She becomes the school's second All-American in the pole vault, joining Marion Meyer, who was seventh at the 1999 outdoor championship.
Falda was one of just three freshmen to reach the NCAA Championship field of 24. Placing eight, she finished behind four seniors and three sophomores.
The showing capped a remarkable freshman season that saw Falda finish as the Sun Belt Conference indoor and outdoor champion. She also became the school record holder during both seasons, and established a Maverick Stadium record in the pole vault.
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