ST. PAUL — For awhile on Saturday, it appeared that Andrianna Jacobs could jump over anything, including the moon.
“It was one of those days,” she said. “I’m still in shock. I’m still not believing this is all happening.”
Maybe the Rochester Century freshman didn’t believe it on Saturday, or maybe not today or maybe not this week, but one of these days, Jacobs will come to realize just how awesome of a performance she turned in at the Class AA state track and field meet at Hamline University.
She not only broke the state pole vault record, she shattered it.
Jacobs, who was the top seed in the meet with a vault of 11-feet, 9-inches, cleared 13 feet to set a Minnesota all-time record, a record that was set in 2005 by Alicia Rue of Robbinsdale Armstrong (12-9).
Last year’s winning vault was 11-6.
Jacobs started her day at 9-6 and never missed until the bar was at 13-4 1/4.
Even then she came close.
“We were hoping for a 12-6 today,” said Century pole vault coach Ray Ashworth. “She worked way too hard for that not to happen.”
But what about after clearing 12-6, then 12-9 and then 13-0? The crossbar kept going up, up and up.
“It’s pretty hard for me to control my emotions right about now,” he said. “I’m on Cloud 9.”
Which means that Jacobs was on Cloud 13.
“Never did I even think about 13 feet today,” she said. “My only goal when I got here was to get to the podium. I made it to state last year (and finished 11th). I at least wanted to get a medal this year.
“Oh, I also wanted to make sure I cleared the first height today. That really takes a lot of pressure off.”
She felt good, right from the start.
“I had more energy than I normally have for one of the smaller meets,” she said. “I was also a little nervous.”
The pole vault is the most technically challenging event in track and field. Poles come in all sizes and weights, and Ashworth said he brought 10 different poles for Jacobs to use at state.
“We went through all of them,” he said. “I felt that if she could handle the bigger pole, then good things would happen because she had the form and all the mechanics down pat.
“A bigger pole gives her more bend at the top.”
Ashworth said they had been practicing 13-foot jumps, but using a bungee cord as a crossbar.
“She never made it that high in practice,” he said, “although she did come close.”
Jacobs also had a surprise visitor at the meet: her brother Dominick, who goes to school at Wisconsin-La Crosse.
“He wasn’t supposed to be here,” she said. “I never talked to him before the meet, but I saw him in the stands.”
Jacobs’ personal record was a 12-2. She won the Section One, Class AA meet at 11-9 and set a Big Nine Conference record of 11-11. Jacobs’ 13-footer would have placed her in the top 20 at the 2013 NCAA championships and in the top 10 at the Big Ten Conference meet.
“I’m sure I’ll see her at practice this summer,” Ashworth said. “Andi’s not afraid of putting in the hard work.
“That’s why we had no problem starting her today at 9-6. I know some people think we’re crazy for starting her at that height, but she generally jumps 20 or 30 times in practice so today wouldn’t have been any different.”
The National high school pole vault record is 14-2 3/4, and the best vault this year is 13-11 1/2.
“I’m sure some colleges have noticed,” Ashworth said.