BETHLEHEM — Easton’s Greer Gumbrecht felt this newfound freedom to fly Monday in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference track and field meet at Liberty High School.
And fly she did.
Gumbrecht eclipsed her personal best in the pole vault by nearly a foot, clearing 12-feet, 9-inches to easily win the event in a double-dual with Freedom and Dieruff at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.
Her mark of 12-9 is the best in District 11 this spring by nine inches. Liberty’s Rachel Finn cleared 12-feet in a meet last week.
Easton’s school record in the pole vault is 13-6, established by Lindsay Regan — a state track and field hall of famer — at the 2005 district championships.
“I was much more relaxed,” said Gumbrecht, a senior who last week committed to attend West Virginia University on a track and field scholarship. “I thought to myself I’ve already committed to my college and I can chill out a bit. I’m too tense all the time. I relaxed and had fun and went for it.”
The Red Rover standout’s previous best was 11-10, a height she cleared in 2014 to claim the Lehigh Valley Conference championship. Gumbrecht then went on to win the District 11 Class 3A title at 11-6 as a sophomore.
With raised expectations she called her postseason performance last year “really bad.”
Still, Gumbrecht finished tied for second at districts behind Finn, who won at 11-6. She cleared 11-feet at states to tie for 13th-place. Last year’s winning mark at states was 12-9.
“My junior year was not good for me,” said Gumbrecht, who took advantage of the calm, sun-splashed 83-degree afternoon. “I just put too much pressure on myself. Indoors this winter was not good, either. Everything just came together for me, I guess.”
She also said today’s performance was a huge confidence-booster as the EPC and District 11 championship meets approach next month.
Gumbrecht and Finn are expected to go head-to-head for pole-vaulting superiority in the postseason.
“Me and Rachel have been friends since fourth grade because we competed in gymnastics together,” Gumbrecht said. “People may not know it but we literally love competing against each other. So I’m really excited for leagues and districts because it’s going to be a good competition.”
Easton’s girls topped Freedom 110-38 and Dieruff 93-55. Dieruff bested Freedom 74-65 in the girls meet.
The Freedom boys prevailed over Easton 82-68 and Dieruff 93-55. Easton’s boys defeated Dieruff 134-16.