Tennessee rising sophomore Joseph Berry qualified Thursday for the pole vault finals at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgosczc, Poland. The reigning SEC Freshman Field Athlete of the Year cleared the bar at 16-8 ?? in the prelims to advance to the medal round.
Berry???s vault tied for the second-best mark among the 22 entrants. He will compete Saturday with 12 other qualifiers for the world championship.
The Horsham, Pa., native???s career best is 17-9, which he cleared to win the NCAA Mideast Regional this year, his sixth victory of the collegiate season. He won the SEC crown in May with a vault of 17-2 ??.??
Berry is at the world championships by virtue of his second national title in as many years. He won the USA Junior Championships last month and the AAU National Championship in 2007.
The IAAF World Junior Championships feature athletes who are at least 14 years old at the time of competition but do not turn 20 during the calendar year.