EUGENE, Ore. — The Olympic dream continued Friday for one Montana athlete.
Polson native and former University of Montana pole vault coach Melinda Withrow qualified for the event's finals at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials.
Withrow cleared 14 feet, 3 1/4 inches on her first attempt in the pole vault, but couldn't best her mark. She finished in a tie for 11th, the last spot to qualify for the finals.
Withrow's week at Oregon's famed Hayward Field continues only because three other women also failed to clear 14-5 1/4 after crossing the bar on their first attempts at the prior height. It was close but just enough.
"I still made it in by the hair on my chinny chinny chin," she joked. "... It was good and bad. I came out strong with my first attempt. I'd skipped opening height (at 13-11 1/4) and came in the next one strong."
Withrow has been plagued by nerve issues in her left leg recently, and the numbness flared up during Friday's competition.
"After that first height attempt, I went numb, and there's nothing I can do about it," she said. "Lots of therapy in the next couple days. If that stays away, I jump really well.
"I felt good in that way, mentally. My body, just hope it hangs on."
Up next for the 31-year-old vaulter is the finals on Sunday. The event starts at 3:30 p.m. (Mountain) with the final 14 pole vaulters fighting for just a few spots on the U.S. team at the Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil next month.
Jenn Suhr cleared 14-9 for the top mark of Friday's action.