Colorado School of Mines sophomore and former Kingwood High School athlete Jake Pinkston won a national championship in the pole vault in the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships at Johnson C. Smith University last weekend.

Pinkston has consistently been in the top 3 spots of the NCAA rankings for his sport. He still stays in touch with many of the young Kingwood vaulters still in high school.

Pinkston’s performance May 26 helped Mines reach their seventh Division II national championship and their first-ever win in a field event. Pinskston’s jump of 5.28m to win was one of four podium spots for the School of Mines. Pinskton is Mines' first individual national champion in nearly a decade when Mack McLain won the indoor mile championship in 2011.

Pinkston came into the competition with a #2 national ranking. He and Mines teammate Connor McLean, a junior heptathlete, have been passing record jumps between them all year. McLean exited early from the competition with a jump of 4.98m, and Pinkston found himself up against two final competitors from Colorado Mesa and Grant Valley State. Pinkston jumped first, then watched as the other athletes put up X's, giving him the national title.

Jacqueline Havelka
Author: Jacqueline HavelkaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a rocket scientist turned writer. I worked at Lockheed Martin-Johnson Space Center for many years managing experiments on the Space Station and Shuttle, and I now own my own firm, Inform Scientific, specializing in technical and medical writing and research program management. I am a contributing correspondent to The Tribune, a Kingwood resident for 12 years, and proud mom to two Aggie sons.