LAKEWOOD — The 2012 Colorado High School Activities Association State Track and Field Meet started off on the right foot for San Luis Valley schools on Thursday, here at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood.
Thursday’s action produced seven medalists (three individuals and four relays) including a single state champion.
Alamosa High School junior Samuel Bilderbeck excited fans as he was able to win the Class 3A pole vault. Bilderbeck was one of three competitors to clear 13 feet. Because neither of the three could clear 13 feet, 6 inches and was the only one to not have a missed attempt in the lower heights, he earned his first state championship.
“It’s the most surreal feeling I have ever felt, I can’t even believe it!” said an excited Bilderbeck after he found out he won. “When I cleared 13 feet on the first attempt I was thinking I may have just sealed the deal for me.”
“I know we make a deal about the rankings and where I am sitting but this week was all about having fun,” he added. “I came to have fun and because I was having fun it led to me doing so well.”
The pole vault is something that Bilderbeck has worked on to excel as his father, Jeff Bilderbeck, was an assistant coach specializing in pole vault and jumps for Alamosa head coach Larry Zaragoza. Jeff was a major cog in his success because there were several hours spent after practice where they practiced.
“Everything, it means everything to have my son do it, it’s the pinnacle,” said Jeff. “It was a tough competition, he had to clear 13 feet on his first attempt, he was clean all the way through and that’s what made the difference.”
After opening up by clearing 11 feet, Bilderbeck had to check out and go run the preliminaries of the 110 hurdles. He finished the race with a personal record time of 15.61. That pumped him up go back and finish the pole vault.
“I was so excited that I ran such a fast time that it helped me vault higher,” said Samuel Bilderbeck.
This 13 foot clearance was an improvement from last year where he finished in fourth place by clearing 11 feet, 6 inches.
BY: Eric R. Flores