PEARL— Mississippi high school boys pole vaulting has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years.
St. Patrick senior Connor Foxworth pushed the craft to new heights on Friday at the MHSAA state track and field championships.
For the third straight year, the state meet record fell in the event as Foxworth soared 16 feet, 6 1/4 inches in Class 3A, beating the old mark of 16-3 set by Sam Kendricks of Oxford last year.
Foxworth’s previous best was 16-1/4 in an indoor meet at the Birmingham Crossplex this year.
“I was expecting 16-4. I didn’t think I could go 16-61/4,” said Foxworth, an Alabama signee who has been vaulting since ninth grade, following in the footsteps of his father John, who also was a high school vaulter.
Foxworth, who jumped 16 feet for the first time last summer, overcame a hamstring injury to put his name in the MHSAA record book and win his third straight state title. He climbed 16-31/4, then 16-43/4, then 16-61/4.
“I tweaked my hamstring at the end of indoor season, and I took a couple of weeks off before outdoor,” said Foxworth, who often works out at Alabama high school Mobile McGill-Toolen under the guidance of its coach Drew Bentley.
By Bill Spencer