Leaping into the new year: Competition abounds at pole vault event in Belton

BELTON — With five pits and 290 contestants, there was a steady stream of jumpers at the ninth annual Pole Vaulting Expo Explosion at the Bell County Expo Center.

Annie Rhodes-Johnigan, of Waco, who has jumped in the meet since the eighth grade, won the pro women’s division Saturday by clearing the bar at 14 feet, 6 inches.

A recent graduate of Baylor University, she said this was her first year of competition out of college. As a senior, she said, she set the indoor record of 14 feet, 7¼ inches and the outdoor record of 15 feet, 1½ inches.

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