It’s not unusual to find a basketball hoop in someone’s yard. Or even a kickboard for soccer players.

But a pole vault mat?

There’s one in a yard on Franklin Street in Saco. Travis Snyder, a graduate of Thornton Academy in June, lives there. Maybe that’s why his name is at the top of the state’s pole vault record books.

Snyder soared 16 feet, 9 1/4 inches at the Class A state championship meet, shattering the meet record of 16-0 and the all-time Maine best of 16-9, both set in 2008 by David Slovenski of Brunswick. Snyder also won two hurdles events and finished fifth in the long jump. And that’s why he is the Varsity Maine Athlete of the Year for boys’ outdoor track.

“Yeah, he did pretty well overall,” said Erik Ryder, Thornton’s pole vault coach. “The biggest thing about Travis is his work ethic. He’s blessed with athletic ability to begin with. But his drive and determination is huge. And he’s a smart kid.”

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