Ashland graduates Moon and Bassitt on their way to the Olympic Games in Paris

The world’s best pole vaulter gets the chance to defend her title as Olympic champion – and she will not be the only representative of Ashland University in Paris.

On Sunday, June 30, former Ashland University national champion Katie Moon (of Olmsted Falls, Ohio) earned the right to defend her Olympic gold medal in the women’s pole vault by placing second with 4.73 meters at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Shortly thereafter, on Sunday evening, another former Eagle national champion, Trevor Bassitt (of Bluffton, Ohio), qualified for his first Olympic Games by finishing third in the final of the men’s 400-meter hurdles with his season-best time of 47.82 seconds.

The 2024 Summer Olympics, the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, will be held from 26 July to 11 August in Paris, France.

Moon, who entered the trials this season as the world’s best pole vaulter with 4.85 meters, won a gold medal for Team USA at the postponed 2021 Summer Olympics (technically 2020) in Tokyo, Japan, with a top jump of 4.90 meters.

She was a two-time NCAA Division II national champion and three-time D-II All-American in the pole vault for the Eagles and continues to hold school records in the indoor (4.27 m) and outdoor (4.44 m) pole vault. Her career-best 4.95 m is the fifth-best in world history of the women’s pole vault (indoor/outdoor combined), and she is also a two-time world champion and world championship silver medalist.

Moon is also a member of the 2022 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II Athlete Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Ashland University Track and Field Hall of Fame in October 2024.

Bassitt, who began the day ranked No. 8 in the world in the men’s 400m hurdles, improved his previous season’s best by 1.11 seconds to qualify for Team USA for the first time.

Bassitt won two gold medals at the World Outdoor Championships, two silver medals at the World Indoor Championships and a bronze medal at the World Outdoor Championships. He was a 10-time NCAA Division II national champion and 21-time D-II All-American at AU. He was also a key figure in three Eagle men’s D-II team national titles (2019 indoor and outdoor, 2021 indoor).

His individual national titles were in the outdoor 4×400-meter relay (two), the outdoor 400-meter hurdles (two), the indoor 60-meter hurdles (two), the indoor 200-meter run (one), the indoor 4×400-meter relay (two) and the indoor 400-meter run (one).

• Also for Ashland: Morgan Shigo, a volunteer throwing coach for the AU track and field team, placed 11th with a personal best of 71.94 meters.

• Earlier at the Trials, Rachel Tanczos, another volunteer throwing coach for the Eagles, took fourth place in the women’s hammer throw with 70.98 meters.

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