BELTON — Young and old ran and jumped in the Texas Elite Pole Vault Explosion at the Bell County Expo Center on Saturday.

About 250 athletes in 21 divisions sped down the runways of five pits in the Garth Arena. The crowd applauded each time one of them cleared the bar, and sighed in anguish when they didn’t quite make it.

“A lot of the kids you see here today, you’ll see at the state track meet in Austin in the spring,” said Doug Severson of Holland, who helps to run the event.

Texas Elite Pole Vaulting in Killeen, owned by Jack Chapman, has sponsored the meet since 2009.

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