A pole vaulter who trained at Washington State University won an unexpected gold for the United States at the Olympics ahead of world champion Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia.
Katie Nageotte served as a volunteer assistant track coach with the Cougs and has trained with former Husky all-American Brad Walker. She currently trains in Georgia.
Nageotte failed on her first two attempts of the competition at 4.50 meters but improved from there to clinch her first major medal.
Sidorova took the silver at 4.85. Britain’s Holly Bradshaw won the bronze medal.
Nageotte cleared 4.90 at her third attempt in the medal-clinching round. Sidorova passed on her last chance at 4.90 and moved the bar to 4.95 but didn’t come close to clearing that.
Sidorova’s silver was the first medal in track and field at the Tokyo Games for the Russian team, which is competing under the Russian Olympic Committee name as a result of the country’s long-running doping scandal.
This year marked Nageotte's Olympics debut after falling short of qualifying for the 2016 Games in Rio, placing fifth in the trials that year. In this year’s trials, she qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a career-best pole vault of 16 feet, 2 3/4 inches.