No one would have been shocked to see Allyson Simmons break her own Stark County girls pole vault record again this season.
The Fairless junior went above and beyond the bar, though, during Saturday’s county track and field meet. It took her just five minutes to rewrite history twice.
Simmons broke her own record when she cleared 12 feet, 1 inch on her third attempt and did it again when she nailed a 12-4 on her first try. She tied the county mark last year and already has broken it three times this season.
“I’m thrilled,” Simmons said. “It wasn’t really scary. It was very, very exciting.”
Being the focus of attention when you’re a record-setting pole vaulter or high jumper comes with the territory.
An announcement was made shortly before Simmons attempted to break the meet record. The crowd was given another update after she cleared 11-4 as more eyes shifted to the pole vault pit.
“I heard it, but I didn’t pay attention to it much,” Simmons said. “I was more focused on the runway and what I needed to do.”
The bar was raised from 11-4 to 12-1. History was made on Simmons’ final try.
“I prayed before I jumped like I usually do on my third attempt at a big bar,” she said. “I ran as fast as I could to try to hit my mark and perfected my top end as much as I could.”
Simmons needing just one vault at 12-4 to break the record again may have surprised some. Perry vaults coach Darren Ehmer, who also works with Simmons, could not recall any time when the county record was broken twice in one day.
“It was awesome,” Simmons said. “I opened my eyes as soon as I knew I was over it, let go of the pole, pushed away and smiled instantly in the air.”
Simmons sat out the first few weeks of the season with a tweaked hamstring. She did not want to risk vaulting in cold weather and dropped running events so she would not aggravate it.
Now Simmons is in the ballpark of how high she feels she needs to vault to win a Division II state championship.
“Anywhere in the 12s or high 11s,” Simmons said.
With three county records already secured, the sky’s the limit.