Disaster struck the Memorial girl’s track team Thursday evening at the Evansville City Track and Field Meet — only it didn’t stick, literally or figuratively.
The disaster came on the meet’s first day at Central Stadium after junior pole vaulter Sarah Hayhurst had broken the City record of Kayla Carlile at 10-feet, 6-inches and followed with a vault of 10-9 for Memorial’s school mark.
Then, on her first attempt at 11-0, Hayhurst snapped her pole in half and fell against the short end with the top of her left triceps. Then she grabbed her arm, collapsed in a heap and began to cry.
But the tears didn’t last.
“I thought it was going to be a perfect jump,” said Hayhurst, who just started vaulting in February. “I’m thinking I’m going to make it and then it’s ‘Oh my God!’
“My first thought is I’m going head first into the pit and then it was like I blacked out for just a second and then my arm really hurt. Then I realized I was OK. It scared me more than anything.”
A little ice and some hugs from teammates later, she was ready to consider her records and the future.
“I had just gotten my PR of 10-6 last week at Castle, so I passed at 10-3,” she said. “Then when I made 10-6 so easily (on her first try) I wanted to get 10-9 so bad for the school record.
“On that jump I planted the pole so hard, my best plant, ever. For me it’s all about the plant because I’m not very fast. I know that, so I’ve got to get the plant
“The last one didn’t end well, but it won’t scare me. I’ve been a gymnast and a diver, so I’ve been hurt before. I can’t wait to get back out there.”
Dylan Barnes, Memorial’s girls coach, got the whole thing on video.
“I’ve NEVER seen a girl break a pole,” he said. “It scared me, too. I’m just happy she’s all right because everything else sure went well.
“This was our best first night ever at the City. We qualified everybody (in the trials) and scored our best total ever.”
The meet concludes today, beginning at 6 p.m. at Central Stadium.