May 25, 2003 11:00 pm

OLATHE, Kan. — Nothing is as sweet as the taste of redemption.

And right now, Eastern Oregon Shawn Trimble's is on a sugar high.

Trimble won the NAIA national championship Saturday in the pole vault with a vault of 16 feet, 7€ inches. With that jump, he broke his own school record.

Coach Ben Welch said Trimble had a terrible indoor national track meet in Johnson City, Tenn. Trimble came in as a favorite to win it, but he "no heighted" and didn't place.

He started out slowly at the outdoor championships, missing his first couple of attempts at the opening height of 15-3.

Finally, Trimble cleared his opening height, and ended up the only competitor to clear 16-2. Trimble jumped again at 16-7€ so he could break the school record.

Trimble, who still holds the Oregon 2A high school record when he jumped 15-0 for Elgin in 1999.

It is just the third-ever national championship for Eastern Oregon outdoor track. Dan Hathaway won the national high jump championship in 1994. Eastern's Greg Miller won the national championship in the marathon in 1987.

Trimble's school record was just one of three on the day.

Hammer thrower Jerry Morris came in to the meet ranked 17th in the hammer throw.

In his last throw of the preliminaries, Morris was ranked about ninth or 10th and needed a big throw to make sure he made the finals, according to Welch.

Perhaps Morris responds well to pressure.

In Welch's words, Morris then "uncorked a monster" and "destroyed" both his personal record and the school record with a 175-11 throw. His personal best had been 160-8 and the old school record had been 168 feet.

That throw was good for third in the nation.

Dirk Bortz also finished as an NAIA All-American with a discus throw of 159-8, a school record and good for eighth in the nation.

Ian Schroeder finished eighth in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:57.34.

Overall, Eastern picked up 18 points as a team and finished 15th in the nation, which Welch said was a good day.

NAIA Nationals

Olathe, Kansas

Eastern Oregon finishes


1,500-meter run — 8, Ian Schroeder, 3:57.34.

5,000-meter run — 16, Alex McGladrey, 15:34.55; 17, Sean Williams, 15:52.42.

400 hurdles — 21, Damien Johnson, 55.63.

Pole vault — 1, Shawn Trimble, 16-7 1/4.

Discus — 8, Dirk Bortz, 159-8.

Hammer throw — 3, Jerry Morris, 175-11; 13, Jorn Johnson, 161-10.

Decathlon — 11, Brian Hartley; 14, Josh allen.


5,000-meter run — 11, Lindsey Ulrich, 18:30.26; 19, Jessyca Barker, 19:08.26.

3,000-meter steeplechase — 24, Carri Jones, 12:08.08.