Hana Moll is on a roll

Olympia's Hana Moll wins the NCAA Indoor pole vault title as a first-year student-athlete.

Hana Moll was head over heels with delight after she became the first freshman ever to win the pole vault title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.

Aiming high is nothing new for Hana Moll. A National Honor Society student at Capital High School in Olympia, she graduated with a 4.0 GPA before entering the UW. Then this year, as a first-year student-athlete on the Husky Track & Field squad, she became the first freshman ever to win the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 8 in Boston. The American junior record-holder made Team USA in 2023 at the World Outdoor Championships, where she reached the final and finished ninth in the world.

It didn’t take long for Moll to become the top-ranked vaulter in the NCAA this past indoor season when she cleared 15 feet, 2¾ inches at the UW Invitational in January. When she won the NCAA title, she went two bars higher than any other jumper to secure the victory, clearing 15-1.

According to UW’s athletics communications, her victory was the first individual NCAA track and field title on the women’s side of the Dawgs since 2012, when Katie Flood won the title in the outdoor 1,500 meters. And it was just the second win all time for the women in the pole vault, as Kate Soma won the outdoor pole vault title in 2005.

“It feels amazing. I came in really wanting to win and have a good time, and I accomplished both of those things, so I’m really happy with how I did,” Moll said. “I was a little bit nervous for the collegiate transition, but I think what I’ve jumped this season has given me confidence in my training and my coaches.”

After clearing 15-1, Moll then pushed the bar up to the Olympic standard of 4.73 meters, or 15-6¼, which would have been a lifetime best. She had three very close attempts, especially the first one: the crowd gasped when the bar barely fell off. After a third miss, she waved to the crowd and went to the guardrail for hugs with coaches and family.

Luke Houser captures his fourth consecutive title in the NCAA men’s indoor mile.

Hooray for Houser

We also give a tip of the Husky cap to Luke Houser, who won his fourth consecutive national championship in the men’s indoor mile with a time of 4:01:72. He won the first NCAA Indoor Mile title in UW school history in 2023.