Here is the official University of Washington press release:
Broken Hand Brings Walker’s Record-Breaking Season to a Close
SEATTLE, Wash. — Husky senior Brad Walker, currently the top-ranked American
pole vaulter in 2003, saw his record-breaking season come to a premature end
Wednesday as the result of a broken right hand. The Spokane, Wash., native
will not compete again outdoors for Washington, but has stated to head coach
Greg Metcalf a desire to return in 2004 for his one remaining season of
X-rays earlier in the week revealed a hairline fracture in the hand, and an
MRI Tuesday confirmed the break. Doctors informed Walker that surgery would
not be necessary at this time, provided he ceased vaulting immediately. It
is expected that Walker will be able to begin practicing again in the fall,
and will return to competition next winter.
"It’s certainly a tough situation for Brad, to have this happen right before
his final NCAA Outdoor Championships," Metcalf said. "He’s a tough
competitor, though, and has informed me that this is not how he wants his
collegiate career to end. He’s going to fight back and compete for us again
next indoor season, and I’m sure he’ll be eager to prove to everyone that
he’s still the man to beat."
Should Walker return for his final indoor season, he would be defending the
NCAA indoor title he earned in March with a Pac-10 record vault of 19-feet,
0 1/4-inch that was nine inches beyond his nearest competitor, and equaled
the sixth-best mark in NCAA history. The vault currently ranks Walker in a
tie for third in the 2003 IAAF World Rankings, and equals the best mark by
an American pole vaulter this season.