Personal Bests and Excitement Filled the Air as Pole Vault City Invaded Gator Town on Sunday
Pole Vault City athletes performed well on Sunday at the Jimmy Carnes Invitational at the University of Florida. Personal bests were enjoyed by Haley Rigdon, Kristen Petry, Asher Shashaty, Winston Perry, and Marcus Blessing. Haley, a seventh grader, enjoyed a PR of 6’6″ to win the 12-13 age group. Asher, a sophomore, vaulted 13’6″ for a double PR to win the 15-16 division. Kristen, a senior, enjoyed a 10’6″ PR with vaults that promise to increase that PR throughout the season. Winston Perry, a senior, vaulted 13’6″ to finish 5th in the boys 17-18 division. Marcus Blessing, a senior, upped his PR to 11’6″ with a bigvault at 11’6″ which should lead to more PR’s throughout the season.
On the girls side of the competition, Haley won the 12-13 division, Amanda Rigdon finished 5th in the 15-16 division with a vault of 9′. In the 17 – 18 group Emily Gale tied for 1st with a vault of 11′ while her sister, Amanda Gale, and Kristen Petry finished tied for 3rd with a vault of 10’6″. Stephanie Cook and Annie Harwig tied for 10th place with heights of 9’6″, Devon Grussmark finished in 15th with a vault of 8’6″ and Ashley Cahill rounded out the finishers with a 7’6″ vault to finish 17th as she blew through all the poles before we could put the right pole in her hand. Ashley is coming back off of an ankle injury so it’s really good to see her back in the air. Not bad for a group of 25 girls in the 17-18 group.
On the boys side, Asher Shashaty won the 15-16 age group with ease with his PR vault of 13’6″. In the 17 – 18 division Josh McDaniel and Corey Smith tied for second place each clearing 14′. Although both vaulters have a PR of 14’3″ it was evident that these two are going to have a great year. Corey is coming off of a 2011 season which he had to sit out with a broken back. Although the road to recovery has been difficult for Corey, it has been worth the journey. Corey is only a junior this year. Winston Perry used his PR of 13’6″ to finish 5th. Shelton McLean vaulted 13′ to secure an 8th place finish. Shelton’s amazing feat of the day was vaulting on a 13′ Pacer FX 180 at a body weight of only 155 pounds. That’s sick Shelly! Marcus Blessing rounded out the finishers with a PR of 11’6″ to finish 18th. Marcus vaulted 10′ at his regional meet last year so look out 3A region 1, someone figured out how to pole vault.
Special thanks to the entire crew of families that showed up and to coaches Marcy Haeck, Dave Cook, and Johnny Ryland for all their help during the meet. Johnny by the way holds the world record for polevaulting from zero steps with a recorded 9′ height.