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Guttormsen records highest jump ever by Ivy League pole vaulter, eyes Olympics

Guttormsen in the air during a pole vault competition
Sondre Guttormsen in the air during a pole vault competition. 
Courtesy of Kristin Guttormsen.

Sondre Guttormsen, a sophomore pole vaulter on the Princeton men’s track and field team, cleared 5.66m (18’7”) in the pole vault on Saturday in Gothenburg, Sweden, during his first competition of 2021. 

The jump was the highest ever by an Ivy League pole vaulter and set a Gothenburg stadium record. 


Guttormsen transferred to Princeton in the fall from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), joining his younger brother — Simen Guttormsen — who is also a sophomore pole vaulter on Princeton’s track and field team.

“My first year at Princeton has been very different from what I expected,”  Guttormsen said. “It feels weird to be enrolled and to be a part of a school that I have never been to but everyone I have ‘met’ so far have been very welcoming.”

As a freshman at UCLA, Guttormsen won a Pac-12 individual title after clearing 5.36m (17’7”) at the 2019 Pac-12 Outdoor Championships. He earned Second Team All-American honors after placing ninth at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a jump of 5.60m (18’4.5”). Although enrolled at Princeton, Guttormsen currently trains in and competes for his home country, Norway. 


“From an athletic point of view, I have been lucky enough to have access to training facilities and I have both a coach and training group in my home town Ski, Norway.”

Guttormsen holds the Norwegian national record in pole vault (5.80m/19’0.5“), which he achieved in July 2019 in Leverkusen, Germany. As of Jan. 5, he is ranked 23rd in the world in pole vaulting, according to World Athletic, and has his sights set on the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.

“Yesterday was my first meet of 2021 and I am very happy about my performance (5.66m). It is my highest ever season opener which is promising for this very important year, with the Olympic Games being scheduled for August.”

Guttormsen will continue to train in Norway and compete throughout Europe in the spring. Though grateful for the opportunity to have a competitive season, Guttormsen is looking forward to being on campus and sporting a Princeton uniform.

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“Although I am happy to be able to compete under these circumstances, I really wish and hope I get to put on the Princeton jersey soon,”  Guttormsen said. “As a transfer student-athlete my time at Princeton is limited and while I would understand a decision to cancel the Ivy League outdoor track season, I hope they are able to figure out a way where we can compete and represent our school.”