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“Yes, like all sports there can be risks,” said Ellis. “The entire pole vault community works hard to make it as safe as possible for athletes. The padding has got much better and bigger.
“All coaches are required to take online safety courses. The athletes are weighed in at meets and all poles are checked to meet the safety requirements for competition.”
Max Manson of Monarch has the state’s top vault for boys at 16-feet-10 inches. Sandberg is second at 15-2.
Alex Argust of Cherry Creek is tied for fourth at 14-0 while Chaparral’s Connor Quinlan, who has gone over 15 feet during the indoor season, was sixth at 13-8.
In the girls pole vault, according to the Colorado MileSplit, Mia Manson of Monarch has the top vault at 12-8. Legend’s Lauren Jarossy is third in the rankings at 12-4.25.
Avery Viegregger of Valor Christian has the sixth best vault at 11-6 with Morgan Adsit of Douglas County and Ana George of Cherry Creek tied for eighth at 11-2.
Pat Mason, father of Max and Mia, still holds the state’s boys pole vault record of 17-7.5 while competing at Aurora Central in 1986.
The girls state record is 13-9, set in 2016 by Andrea Willis of The Classical Academy.
Sandberg and Quinlan are seniors and both have their sights set on the Chaparral school record of 15-6 held by Davis Butte.
“Pole vaulting is fun,” said Quinlan. “It is the challenge about it because you are never going to be as good as you can be. There’s always something to work on. It’s the challenge of getting better and beating yourself.”
Ellis points out that Sandberg and Quinlan are different but capable of reaching the school record.
“Justin has real good body control with his gymnastics ability and he has a real good vertical leap,” said Ellis. “He can dunk a basketball. That helps. You still have to jump. Connor is all speed and technique.
“They are two different types of jumpers. Both these kids could get that record this year. Once a kid gets over 15, it’s kind of like a mark in high school. You’re like in the top like 1 percent of high school vaulters in the country.”
Jarossy, a junior, has given up club gymnastics during the track season to concentrate on improving as a pole vaulter. She has only been vaulting for 18 months.
“Pole vaulting in my opinion is a combination of speed, strength and body awareness,” said Carberry. “Obviously athleticism plays a big part in that. Lauren has done exceptionally well and is on the accelerated path.”
Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at email@example.com or at 303-566-4083.
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