It didn’t take long for Clackamas senior Connor McLean to get warmed up for track season.
McLean, the reigning Class 6A champion in the pole vault, debuted last week by clearing 16 feet, shattering his own school record of 15-1. He took two tries at five meters (16-4 ¾) but fell just shy in the seven-team invitational at Sherwood.
“He had two good attempts in the dark, at about 8:30, and it was 47 degrees,” coach Jeff Kelleher said of McLean, who has an indoor best of 15-3. “His goal is to be over 17.”
Kelleher said that the 6-foot-1, 170-pound McLean, who has committed to Air Force, appears relaxed and confident. He also has improved his strength and refined his technique from offseason workouts with pole vault guru Rick Baggett.
“That 16-foot vault was a nice, clean one,” Kelleher said. “That’s probably the best vault I’ve ever seen him take because he really attacked the pit.”
McLean is coming off a big junior season in which he placed in four events at the Class 6A meet. He finished first in the pole vault, third in the 300-meter hurdles, fifth in the 110 hurdles and sixth in the long jump.
At Sherwood, McLean won the pole vault, 110 hurdles and long jump. He also threw the javelin 141-5, a personal best by nearly five feet.
The decathlon could be in McLean’s future, according to Kelleher.
“The greatest part about him is he’s just developed from his freshman year on,” Kelleher said. “He’s just a great track and field athlete. I’ve been very impressed with his leadership ability, too. It’s been a lot of fun seeing him grow because we knew he was going to be good.”
McLean has his sights on another school record at Clackamas. His best of 38.73 in the 300 hurdles is within range of the school mark of 38.0, set in 2005 by Tyler Clarke, a state champion who competed in college at Duke.
“We think he can get in the 37s,” Kelleher said.
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