After Augustus Denham won the boys pole vault at the Region IV-5A two Saturdays ago in San Antonio to clinch a spot at the state meet, the Sharyland senior couldn’t stop hearing or reading congratulatory messages.

His phone blew up with friends and family offering their support. He even said some people he didn’t know offered some encouraging messages.

Practically everyone Denham came into contact with was thrilled about him going to state — except for one person.

“We have prom Saturday night, so I’m missing that. It was a bummer for my girlfriend,” Denham said with a laugh. “I’m just psyched for state. I’m bummed out that I won’t get to be with all my friends but I’ve got state to think about.”

Denham will be missing prom, but he’ll be replacing it with another experience he’ll never forget — the UIL state track and field meet. Denham will be competing on Saturday.

Since qualifying for state, Denham has been thanking his coaches, family and friends for the support.

“It means a lot to know that people are behind me and people want me to do well,” Denham said.

This being Denham’s final season, he’s thrilled to finally accomplish his goal of making state.

That didn’t happen earlier in Denham’s career. He said he’s always been a hard-worker but never really gave himself a chance to advance in his previous three years at Sharyland. Before this season, he knew he only had one more shot and he’d have to push himself harder throughout the season.

“Going into regionals, it didn’t really hit me until it was over,” he said. “Once it was over I said ‘wow, this is it.’ I’ve got one more meet to jump the best that I can.

“This was my first year where I really had a chance to go. I had more experience and that combined with just getting better. This year in the summer I realized that I’ve got a chance so I’m going to work my butt off.

With that mindset, he increased his workouts over the summer.

“I really put a lot of time and effort into it to do my best,” Denham said.

The hard work has paid off. Denham has the Valley’s best mark at 15 feet, 3 inches. He set that mark when he won the 30-5A district meet. He continually worked his way from a 14-9 at the Stark Relays in February.

Denham’s goal is simple: he wanted to get better at each meet to put himself in a position to make state at the end of the season.

At regionals, Denham wasn’t even too excited about his vault— even though he won the meet.

“I didn’t jump as high as I thought I was going to or what I wanted to,” he said. “I was kind of down about that, but I’m excited about the meet. The closer it gets the more excited I get.”

Denham will be used to the circus that is the state meet. With the best track athletes in the state all in the Texas capital for one weekend, it can be a little hectic. But Denham competed in the Texas Relays in Austin in March. He’s used to the pressure and knows what a big meet feels like.

The goal he’s set for himself at state is a mark of 15-6. This week, Denham is going to keep his routine simple to prepare for state.

“I’m just going to practice like I normally do,” he said. “I’m going to do the same thing I’ve always done. I’m not going to change anything.”

Now about missing prom? That’s another distraction all together. But Denham has a one-track mind this week: it’s all about state.

“I don’t have a problem with focusing on my sport,” he said. “When I get away from the school I’m just there to practice.”


Denham Vaulter Magazine
Denham Vaulter Magazine

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