Jordan Pacheco was a little anxious at the start of the Penn Relays Championship of America pole vault on Saturday morning. The Morris Hills senior has been jumping inconsistently, and opening height has always been the most difficult.

It took Pacheco all three attempts to clear the first bar, and two at the height after that. But he settled in and placed third with a school-record 15 feet, 1 inch.

“My first two (at 13-9.25), I came down on it,’’ he said. “I wasn’t driving or moving the pole forward at all. The third one, it wasn’t he cleanest jump. Once I got over the first height, I calmed down a little bit. I was trying really hard not to get in my own head and psych myself out.’’

At the same time on the other side of Franklin Field, Sparta senior Zach Davis cleared 6-7.75 to tie for fourth in the Championship of America high jump. Though disappointed that he didn’t raise his Sussex County record, Davis moved up nine places from his original seed.

Pacheco had also run on Morris Hills’ 4×100 on Friday, but the pole vault gave him time to soak in the atmosphere at Franklin Field. The boisterous crowd grew to 48,871 on Saturday, many of them clad in Jamaican green-and-gold.

“It was an amazing experience,’’ said Pacheco, who is heading to Slippery Rock in the fall. “The runway felt really fast, faster than any other runway I’ve jumped on before. The atmosphere and the look of the place was different. I’m not used to jumping in a huge stadium, just open fields with maybe a few bleachers. This was great.’’


Pacheco Vaulter Magazine
Pacheco Vaulter Magazine

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