Soceka first to punch ticket for Eugene

Soceka_Jenny_BT_Out_Blog.jpgSenior Jenny Soceka, fresh off her Big Ten title in the pole vault, became the first member of the Wisconsin women's track and field team to earn a trip to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Soceka survived a pole vault competition that included 48 competitors and lasted more than four hours Thursday at the NCAA preliminary round in Austin, Texas, and advanced to the national final as one of the top 12 finishers in the competition.

Soceka cleared 13 feet, 9 1/4 inches on her third and final attempt at the height to place eighth Thursday. She was clean through the three bars that preceded the final height, with first-attempt clearances at 13-1 1/2, 13-5 1/4 and 13-7 1/4.

The performance sets up a return to the national championship meet for Soceka, who earned All-America honors with a seventh-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships. She redshirted the 2009 season.