ESCONDIDO — You wouldn’t blame Mt. Carmel pole vaulter Kyle Pater if he petitioned to hold the section track and field championships at Escondido High.
Pater soared to an Escondido Invitational meet record and state-leading mark of 16 feet, 3 inches Friday night before missing three tries at a San Diego Section record 16-9.
This is the same site where he soared 16-2½ last year to set the previous meet best. This time he did it with a new pole.
“It’s thicker and it has more pop at the top,” Pater said of the implement he used this time, clearing 15-9 on his first attempt. “I was a little close (to the crossbar) at 16-3, but I still thought I could pull it off.
“I guess you could say it’s my lucky pole now.”
Pater was also pretty sure he would have cleared 16-6, but he decided to go for the record after dropping runner-up Xander Law of Otay Ranch and Escondido’s James Elder at 15-9.
“I’m hoping for the upper 16s by the end of the year, and if I got 17 I’d be out of my mind,” Pater said.
He wasn’t the only one who achieved major milestones.