LANDOVER — By now, everything seemed so familiar. As she waited for her first attempt, she could close her eyes and practically see exactly how the event was going to unfold.
Even the two primary competitors she had to beat to win another Class 2A girls pole vaulting title were long-time acquaintances from their days at the Frederick Gymnastics Club. One was a current teammate in high school.
So, there really was only one thing left for Oakdale senior Emma King to do Monday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, and that’s exactly what she did, folding it neatly into the narrative of her overall career.
On her final attempt at the height, King sailed over the bar at 12 feet, 6 inches to win her third consecutive state indoor title in the pole vault and break her own state record in the event.
“It was more relief than anything,” said King, who has posted a winning height of 11 feet or better for all four of her state titles, including the one she won last May during the outdoor season.
“It was awesome to finally break (12 feet) and finally have a good jump at a big meet. I know last year my jumping at big meets wasn’t as great and wasn’t where I wanted it to be. So, having a big jump this year is really great.”
King even made news after the event, announcing for the first time publicly that she planned to vault for Virginia Tech, starting later this year. She pulled on a maroon Virginia Tech jacket over her uniform as she packed up her things.
“I hope to one day be like her,” said sophomore teammate Jackie McNulty, who cleared 10-6 to finish third behind King and Middletown’s Erin Smith.