Before Zach Stump emerged as the county’s top performer in pole vault, he did what is almost never recommended for someone involved in such a technical track and field event.

He ran cross country.

Stump, a senior, said he had no idea what he wanted to do sports-wise when he came to Liberty as a freshman. He tried football, wrestling, and lacrosse in middle school but the physicality of those sports scared the then 5-foot Stump. He settled on cross country and track and dabbled in a few distance events that first year.

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