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U.S. Olympic Trials notebook: Brad Walker, men's pole vault Phillip Brents | Mon, Jun 25 2012 03:04 PM

Brad Walker, a two-time NCAA indoor pole vault champion and four-time All-American at the University of Washington, ranks among the favorites to qualify in the men’s pole vault for the team that will represent the United States in the  upcoming London Olympic Games.

The U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field are scheduled June 22 to July 1 in Eugene, Ore. The top three place-finishers in each event qualify for the U.S. team that will compete in the London Games (July 25 to Aug. 12).

The men’s pole vault competition begins Monday.

“Making the team is my goal first and foremost but I definitely would like to win the competition,” said Walker, who turned 31 on Thursday. “ I feel comfortable going in. I’m looking forward to good jumping weather.”

Walker was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team that competed in Beijing. He holds the American record at 6.04 meters (19-9.75), set at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in 2008 in Eugene.

Despite posting the top mark in the world (19-2) last year, Walker missed qualifying for the world championships. He feels he’s back in form now.

He is coming off a bronze medal at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, in March where he cleared 5.80 meters (19-0.25). He cleared 5.72 meters (18-9.25) to win the final of eight pre-Olympic pole vault series competitions at the Chula Vista OTC on June 14.

“I didn’t have a great nationals last year,” said Walker, who has been a resident athlete since January 2009. “My consistency wasn’t that good. It’s much better this year.”

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