BATON ROUGE — It was the spring of 1988 when Bob Duplantis bumped into a friend who was a high school track coach in the area at a track meet in Lafayette.

“Hey,” the coach said. “How’s your son, Greg?”

Greg Duplantis of Lafayette High was and is a household name in track and field in the area and had competed against this coach’s team before becoming a world class name as an All-American pole vaulter at LSU, where he competed from 1982-86 and later was a U.S. Olympic team alternate in 1996.

“Great,” Bob said. “He just married a girl from Sweden.”

That was on Aug. 1, 1987, and the bride was the former Helena Hedlund of Aresta, Sweden. She was a pioneering LSU women’s athlete from 1986-89 as both a heptathlete on the LSU track team and a star on the LSU volleyball team .

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