Elmwood Park junior James Angelico knew he was going to follow in the track and field footsteps of his older brother William.

William Angelico was a pole vaulter for the Tigers during his high school career.

“My brother did it and I just thought it looked fun,” Angelico said. “I started doing it my freshman year and as soon as I started it just came naturally for me. It’s been going good ever since.”

James Angelico won the pole vault Saturday at the Riverside-Brookfield Bulldog Relays. He cleared 12-feet-6 to secure the Tigers’ lone first-place finish.

“He’s had a tough time in the vault,” Elmwood Park coach Matt Weldon said. “We don’t have an indoor facility so we get whatever we can outside. We’re hoping to get him downstate this year. It was wearing down on him a little bit with how he was doing, but he was pretty impressive today. He was a cleaner 12-6 than he’s been and he had some good shots at 13, so hopefully we can get him to 13-6 or 14-0 by the end of the season.”

Angelico has benefited from having a talented teammate pushing him. Senior Ivan Stechyshyn also cleared 12-6 Saturday, but finished second based on misses.

The pole vaulters helped Elmwood Park place third in the 11-team field. The Tigers (54 points) finished behind co-champions R-B and Jacobs, who both had 86 points.

Angelico, who is a running back and linebacker on the football team, is also a talented middle distance runner.

He anchored Elmwood Park’s 1,600-meter relay Saturday, but the pole vault is his best chance at making the trip to Eastern Illinois for the state meet. The Class 2A state-qualifying height is 13-3, so accomplishing his state goal is within his grasp.

“Last year was a good year and I’m just looking to get better,” Angelico said. “I want to get to 13 feet soon and then do even better.”

Elmwood Park freshman Taras Kizema, who had an impressive day Saturday by running three 400s in under a minute, is grateful for having older teammates like Angelico leading the way.

“He’s a guy who makes the team try their best,” Kizema said. “He likes to fool around a lot, but at the same time, he’s trying to help everyone get better.”

From: http://elmwoodpark.suntimes.com/sports/19351571-419/elmwood-parks-angelico-trending-up-in-pole-vault.html

Angelico Vaulter Magazine
Angelico Vaulter Magazine

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