The Perry track and field stadium’s pole vault record finally belongs to a Perry Panther. It was probably only a matter of time before Lucas Kelley broke it.
Kelley vaulted a meet record 15 feet, 3 inches Saturday at the Stark County Track and Field Championships. The junior broke the mark of 15-2 set in 2009 by East Canton’s Cody Marshall.
Marshall won the Division III state title the following year. Kelley is a junior and the reigning Division I state champion. No one will be surprised if he rewrites the stadium record book again.
Kelley was unaware that Marshall held the record until this season.
“It’s certainly nice to have your own stadium record back,” Kelley said. “That makes the school proud.”
The record came four days after Kelley survived a scare during a dual meet at Hoover. He landed on the blacktop on one attempt, but did not injure himself. He won with a vault of 15-0.
“It wasn’t the best,” Kelley said. “A few times I went up and had the pole straight, but I was able to bend it or slide my hands together and land on the front pad. Over at Hoover I really didn’t think about sliding my hands together. It bent backward and actually shot me out.
“I took a few minutes off, but you come here to do business so you gotta finish it. You can’t let something like that stop you.”
Kelley has been unstoppable since winning his first state title last year. He won another championship at the indoor state meet and has reached 15-5 during the outdoor season.
“I still have a little bit of work to do,” Kelley said. “This early in the year, and you haven’t had the best weather, 15-5 and 15-3 is definitely a good day.”
Reach Mike at 330-580-8341 or firstname.lastname@example.org