For Lafayette High School freshman Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, pole vaulting is in his blood.
His father, Greg, was a pole vaulter at LSU, and his brother Andreas is now a senior pole vaulter for the Tigers. Armand said there is a healthy rivalry within the Duplantis household, but he admitted he had no idea his 16-foot, 4-inch vault in Wednesday’s District 3-5A meet broke Andreas’ record.
“That’s pretty cool, to keep it in the family,” he said. “It also gives me some house bragging rights.”
Armand’s brother’s record of 15-6 was surprising, considering Andreas had a personal best of 17 while at Lafayette High. Armand attempted a jump of 17-2 on Wednesday but came up just short.
“I guess I was a little unlucky with the poles,” he said. “I used a pole I had never touched before, and it didn’t move quite like I wanted it to. I think it’s all coming together for me, though.”
He said his goal is to get to 17 feet and then shoot for the 15-year-old world record of 17-6 — a goal he said is attainable.
“I think physically I can get it any day now,” Armand said. “It just has to come together in a meet. After I make 17, I’ll be shooting for the record.”
The Lafayette High girls scored an impressive 168 points, beating second-place Barbe by 23. Despite the dominant performance, Lafayette coach Ron Baillargeon said his team was a little rusty after the weather sidelined it.
“We could have done better,” he said. “I’m not saying that to be cocky, but we haven’t run in three weeks. We had a lot of rust, and we missed some good training time. We finally got some good weather, and I trained them pretty hard the last few days.”
Baillargeon said distance and relays should score points at the regional meet in Natchitoches. Right now, he said the best thing they can do is rest.
“Rest, and you will get faster,” Baillargeon said. “It’ll be a lot tougher in Natchitoches. A lot of girls we got through tonight will get through to state. Now it is rest and get faster.”
The Sulphur boys took the overall title after a second-place finish in the mile relay. The eight points combined with only four for Lafayette pushed the Golden Tors to the win.
“The climactic finish was awesome,” Sulphur coach Randy Baggett said. “I can’t say how many points we stole in the field. We have 10 seniors and leadership, and the kids did a fantastic job.”
Baggett said Wednesday’s win gives his team a lot of momentum going into regionals. He said he knows that meet will be full of great times.
“We know the quality of times in the Shreveport and Monroe area,” he said. “We need to go up there ready to roll.”
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