LEMOORE – After his freshman year in high school, Lemoore’s Tyson Pereira went to the North American Pole Vault Association championships as a spectator.
And on July 25, he will return as one of the contestants – again.
Pereira earned his spot in the event’s high school competition for the second straight year with his finish at Thursday’s Run for the Dream summer series track and field meet at Tiger Stadium.
He cleared 13 feet, 6 inches to finish second to take one of the two spots up for grabs in the championship meet, held in the streets of Clovis.
With athletes competing in array of events ranging from youth to masters divisions, the event with the most on the line was the pole vault.
That time Pereira traveled down Highway 41 to watch the NAPVA championships, he knew he’d want return one day to compete in the event.
He just didn’t know he’d be in it twice over the next two years.
Still, Pereira couldn’t be happier to return to a meet he enjoyed competing in last year.
“I knew I wanted to be there,” Pereira said.
Last year, the he launched a personal-best clearance of 14-4 at the meet that has happened yearly in Old Town Clovis in front of thousands that surround the vault. The event includes a high school competition and collegiate and pro divisions.
“It’s just a rush,” Pereira said. “Everyone is just up in your face.”
Being there, he was able to learn tricks and tips from some of the continent’s best vaulters, who can routinely clear 18-0.
“They will talk to you and give you a lot of pointers,” Pereira said.
And like Thursday, the atmosphere is relaxed with music blaring over the speakers.
This past high school year, Pereira just missed out on making it to the California Interscholastic Federation state track and field meet, finishing fourth at the Central Sections Masters by clearing 14-2. The top three advanced.
Pereira said the NAPVA championships top competing at the Masters.
“Everyone is just there to have a good time,” Pereira said. “It’s going to be fun.”
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