LeRoux sisters still in search of West Michigan Invitational All-Star meet pole vault record

MUSKEGON, MI – One of these years the 11-foot-6 inch barrier which has been the high-water mark for the girls pole vaulters at the Meijer West Michigan Invitational All-Star meet is going to go down.

It didn’t happen this year.

In fact, for the first time in five years the winning jump wasn’t 11-6 on the nose. Unfortunately the winning mark was lower, not higher, this year.

Both Spring Lake LeRoux sisters came into the 36th annual meet Wednesday at Reeths-Puffer High School having cleared 11-6 outdoors already this season.

Sadly for defending champ Allie LeRoux, who jumped 11-6 last year, she won’t have any more chances to break the All-Star meet record after missing on three tries at 11-8 once she had already wrapped up her second consecutive title with a winning jump of 11-0.

“I was proud of (Allie) for going after it,” said freshman Gabriella LeRoux, Allie’s closest competition Wednesday. “She’s had a tough year with the weather, we all have. She’s my competition, but she’s my sister, and I was really pulling for her today.”

Jordan Keefe jumped 11-6 at the All-Star meet three straight years (2010-2012).

Allie LeRoux jumped 11-7 at indoor nationals this spring.

Once the All-Star meet title was wrapped up, she tried to get the meet record and a personal best all in one shot.

“I thought about (going for 11-7), but my dad wanted me to go for the personal p.r. as well since I’ve already gotten 11-7, plus I’ve got to get my place back in the top of the state, so he thought it would be better to try 11-8.”

Now the quest for soaring higher than 11-6 at the All-Star meet, as well as at Spring Lake and in the area (Grand Haven’s Jordan Keefe and Grace Kendra both cleared 11-9), falls to the younger LeRoux.

Gabriella, who goes by Bella, seems to be well on her way, despite a tough day Wednesday. She was forced to settle for runner-up at 10-6.

“I really want to (break the All-Star meet record),” Bella LeRoux said. “I’m going to work on that.

“I’m very disappointed (this year). I think all the cold weather this year, when we come to a hot day all the poles were too soft. I blew through all my poles.”

Just like Bella was rooting on her senior to break the record in her last try, Allie will be rooting for her younger sister to break the record at some point in the next few years.

“Absolutely, I’m behind her all the way,” Allie said. “She will do it next year. She’s really bloomed this year. She’s jumped 11-6 and is right behind my butt, which makes me nervous, but as the older sister I really want her to win and take what she wants. Next year I know she’ll get it.”




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