RIDGEWOOD — Luke Annichiarico had a feeling Thursday that something special might happen. Five days after he finished a disappointing sixth in the Penn Relays pole vault event in Philadelphia, he was on the runway again at Ridgewood’s track for the Big North National Division championship.
The Old Tappan senior came in at 13 feet, earlier than usual and made it easily. Clearances at 13-6, 14 feet and 14-6 followed quickly and then the bar was raised to 15 feet, 4½ inches, ¼-inch beyond the Bergen County record set by Juan Andres Giglio of Ridgefield Park in 2010.
Annichiarico waited for the height to be confirmed, took a deep breath and sped down the runway. He got high in the air, went over the bar brushing it as he cleared it. The bar shuddered, bounced and stayed up as he fell into the pit.
“I had it planned,” said Annichiarico with a laugh. “I broke the indoor county record for the first time at the league meet and it was a perfect day to vault today, so I did it again.”
The record helped the Golden Knights to a tight 174½-167 win over Demarest for the National title, while Ridgewood dominated the Freedom division, winning 191-109 over Indian Hills.
“It was the first time I made 15 feet outdoors, but I had a lot of confidence today because I had jumped higher [15-6] indoors,” said Annichiarico, who verbally committed to vault at Wake Forest last month and is expected to sign shortly. “Now I can come in a little higher in future meets and I still think I have a 16-foot vault in me this spring.”
Ridgewood won six events to easily win its second straight Freedom title, and placed at least second in 13 of the 16 events. Seniors Jake Sabatini (100), Doohee Han (200), Mike Antosewicz (discus), and Nick Higgins (javelin) won events and sophomore Mike Thurston won the 800 and had a leg on the winning relay.
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