It was great meeting everyone yesterday at the 3A-4 regional track and field championships that was held at Merritt Island High School. Both vaulting competitions were nail biters. I truly enjoyed meeting all the vaulters and parents that attended the meet. It is great to be associated with an event that is so strongly supported by parents.
The girls competition was dominated by Mallory Johnson of South Fork with personal best of 10’6″. Keep this name in mind for years to come, she just picked up the sport and can bring it on the runway. She has been working with one of my good friends, Harry Hackett, down in Boca Raton. Great job Mallory and Harry. Second place went to Brooke Sorbier from Barron Collier, who vaulted 9’6″ on a bum ankle, very gutsy. Brooke is only a fresman and is a former gymnast. Brooke is coached by Mike Calyore, who is a good friend and camp loyalist. Third place went to Sarah Haughtaling at 9′ from St. Thomas Aquinas, one of my former proteges who is being coached by David Shepherd. Fouth place went to Brittany Youney at 9′ from Merritt Island, and Brittany is coached by yours truly.
The boys competition was as anticipated, all bunched up and then there were 4. There were 10 boys left in the competition with the bar at 12′. Mike Vani from Merritt Island overcame a series of migraine headaches to capture the regional crown with a vault of 14’7″. Mike used his short approach, 5 lefts, to obtain a spot in the top 4, then jumped until the migraine eventually overwhelmed him. Second place went to David Shepherd of St. Thomas Aquinas, yes Coach Shepherd’s son, with a vault of 13’6″. This was especially impressive being that David was in a cast for most of the season after having broke his thumb, doing something heroic I imagine. Third place went to the freshman Codi Cooper, who has a tremendous amount of potential as a youngster and is coached by Jessica Stern, a former UF vaulter. The final qualifying spot went to Hunter Moon of St. Thomas Aquinas with a vault of 12’6″. Don’t let the height fool you, Hunter made opening bar plus one at Florida Relays, he’ll be in the mix come next week.
For those athletes that did not qualify, use that feeling to drive you for the next 9 months. Don’t think of it as the end of this year, think of it as the beginning of next year.