The vault puts Cahoy into third in the Nebraska all-time charts, according to the Omaha World-Herald. It also helped the Islanders take home the boys team title with 143 points, 29 points better than runner-up Lincoln Northeast. Lincoln Southeast won the girls title with 159 points.
Cahoy tried to better the overall state mark of 16-7 1/2 held by Beatrice’s Seth Burney, set in 2006, but missed in three attempts. That didn’t dampen the excitement of bettering the Class A mark, however, for Cahoy.
“Words can’t describe it,” he said. “I really don’t know what’s going through my mind right now. It’s incredible, especially after what happened last week. That was a very low point.”
The result came as a surprise to Cahoy, who told GISH pole vault coach Clint Simmons to put the bar at 16-2 1/2, which was the record previously held by Kearney’s Brett Maher. But Simmons put it up an inch higher. Cahoy set the record on his final attempt.
“I was excited when I made it over, but when coach Simmons told me it was 16-3 1/4, I was even more excited. It works for me,” Cahoy said.
Cahoy’s celebration was delayed for about 30 minutes after the vault, so the height could be verified by track and field official Larry Rutar, who was the starter for the running events. After a few measurements, Rutar said it was 16-3 1/4.
Cahoy was trying to stay loose while waiting for the official result.
“When I started worrying about it, I just started warming up again and then I would go back and look at it,” said Cahoy, who will compete in the pole vault next year for the University of Nebraska. “I wanted to keep my legs fresh.”
Simmons said he was happy to see Cahoy set the Class A record after not clearing his opening height last week.
“I couldn’t be prouder for him, especially with how last week went for him,” Simmons said. “What happened to him last week upset him and it got in his head a little bit. He worked hard all week and worked through it today and had a great day. Now that he has the Class A record, he can just go out, relax and have fun.”
Cahoy, whose brother Kevin finished second behind him in the event by going 14-0, said he feels great about getting the record at home.
“There’s no better place to do it than at home,” Cahoy said. “I got a lot of support from my coaches, my family and my teammates.”
Jacob Cornelius was another winner for the Islanders by winning the long jump at 21-3 1/2. The 400- and 1,600-meter relays teams won as well. Braden Knuth, Taylor Jones, Cornelius and Jake Mayer ran together in the 400 relay (44.10 seconds), while Eli Hunter, Colin Appel, Tyler Fitzke and Machol Chol were on the 1,600 relay (3:32.05).
In all, Grand Island had 27 total medalists, which pleased Islander coach Montie Fyfe.
“We really had a good day today,” Fyfe said. “We are still looking for that No. 3 guy for our depth in our events. We’ve done that in a few events. I feel good about where we are at with our top two guys at each event and that makes us a good team. We had a lot of guys step up and do good things for us today.”
Meanwhile, the Islander girls finished third with 89 points. Grand Island won only one event but did have 20 medalists.
The Islanders went 1-2 in the triple jump with Brooke Gangwish winning it at 33-2, while Mackenzie Puckett went 32-5.
GISH coach Jeff Stern said he liked what he saw.
“All across the board, the team stepped up and performed well for us,” Stern said. “We had a lot of personal records and seasons best performance. We are at the point of the season where we like to see those things happen. It was a great team effort.”