The NJSIAA Group 4 boys pole vault championship was there to be taken.
And Erik Adamcik regrets that he didn’t.
“I’m disappointed in myself,” said the North Hunterdon High School senior after finishing second in the pole vault (on fewer misses) at Egg Harbor Township High School on Saturday afternoon. “I had the opportunity to win. It’s not anybody else’s fault but mine.”
Adamcik had the competition’s last jump, at 14-6. If he cleared it, he would have won. If not, he wouldn’t. After two false starts down the runway, he couldn’t get off the ground for his last chance.
Adamcik had jumped 14-7 earlier this year, so the height was doable. Indeed, he hoped for more.
“I had set a challenge at 15 feet for myself,” he said.
The day’s weather put a kibosh on any such ideas. To start, there was the sizzling heat. The vaulters also were running into what Adamcik described as a “huge headwind,” a wind so strong it could actually push the poles to the right or left so the vaulters could not plant their poles. The wind also played havoc with vaulters in the air.
A great height may have been extremely unlikely, but a gold medal was still there to be won.
“The Meet of Champions may be the big meet, but I knew this would be easier to win,” Adamcik said.
Indeed, one jump at 14-6, or fewer misses below, would have won it.
But the Rider University-bound Adamcik refused to take any of the available excuses.
“Nobody to blame but myself,” he said.
That kind of maturity and acceptance of reality will serve Adamcik well in the future, perhaps starting with Wednesday’s Meet of Champions at South Plainfield.
And so will his sportsmanship: Adamcik offered the winner, Nicholas Patterson of Morris Knolls, a warm handshake afterward.
He just wished it had been the other way around.