Accomplishments: Sam Wright made a name for himself at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Nationals last weekend.

A Lodi High sophomore who is a member of the Lodi Track Club, Wright took second place in the pole vault in the boys 15-16 age division at the nationals at Sacramento State University on Saturday. Wright cleared the bar at 14 feet, 7 inches on his second attempt.

“There were 30 boys,” said Wright, who was competing at his first-ever nationals. “But we were split up.”

In two groups of 15, Wright was placed in a group against some of the best from the United States. On his first attempt at 14-7, Wright used a heavier pole that led to him missing the bar. But on his second attempt, Wright went with a smaller pole that earned him second place behind winner in Colorado’s Max Manson, and earned All-American status.

“I was really excited,” said Wright about earning All-American status. “I’ve never thought of myself as an All-American.”

Last spring, Wright competed on the Lodi High frosh/soph boys track and field team. But toward the end of the regular season, he was moved to the varsity level and performed very well at the Tri-City Athletic League meet, as well as the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I and Masters meets.

Since the end of the prep track and field season more than two months ago, Wright has been working on his run approach toward the bar.

“In the off-season, I train where it’s more relaxed,” Wright said. “I want to work on my quickness.”

Next Monday, Wright will be returning for his second season on the Flames’ boys cross-country team. In addition, he plans to continue his workouts with the city’s track club in the pole vault.

Other members of the Lodi Track Club also placed at last weekend’s nationals. Leading the way was Paige Sefried, another Lodi High sophomore, who took 14th place in the 15-16 girls 400 hurdles (1 minute, 6.86 seconds) and 26th in the 800 (2:23.17).

“She always performs great,” said Wright of Sefried.

Ashlyn Jory was next, taking 24th place in the 13-14 girls high jump (4-9). Luis Torres was 28th in the 15-16 boys discus (119-9), Elijah McDowell, who starts at Fresno Pacific University this fall, was 29th in the boys 17-18 high jump (6-0.75) and Kiah Andrews was 32nd in the 17-18 girl javelin (69-1).




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