Earlier that day, about the scheduled 5:15 p.m. start time for the pole vault, the nerves had set in for Wright. He had been pretty even through the preliminaries the day before with Rancho Bernardo’s Jacob Rice, and frankly didn’t know what to expect for the finals.
Wright hit the first of the heights easily, as did most of the other finalists. The turning point was at 16-feet, 1-inch, when Wright cleared on his first attempt. Every other vaulter missed on their first shot.
“I knew at that point I had the advantage going to the next bar,” Wright said.
At 16′5″, Wright cleared on his second attempt, brushing the bar lightly on the vault. He thought it would have clinched things, he said, until Rice cleared on his third attempt.
Neither vaulter cleared the next height, and Wright earned the victory because he had fewer misses. It was first a relief, he said, to be done with the event. Then, the excitement settled in.