Shawn Barber has been in the hunt to break the national high school pole vault record and even achieved the No. 2 height in history (18-2 1/2) earlier this summer.
However, on probably his last shot before he enters the University of Akron, the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder from Kingwood Park (Kingwood, Texas) finally achieved his dream by clearing an amazing 18-3 1/2 during the AAU National Junior Olympics on Saturday in Humble, Texas.
The record of 18-3 by Tommy Skipper of Sandy, Ore., had stood since 2003.
Barber told MaxPreps that the record “is a relief. I finally got it on the last chance of the season. That’s awesome. I hope it sticks around for awhile.”
Vaulting just 15 minutes from his home, Barber noted, “There was a bit of a crosswind, but it was sunny and a beautiful day.”
He started with the bar at 15 feet and cleared it on his first try. He also cleared 16-0 16-6 and 17-5 on his first attempt before moving the bar to the record height of 18-3 1/2.
He missed on his first two attempts before everything clicked to make history on his third and final vault. He did try 18-8, but missed on all three attempts.
Shawn’s father and personal coach, George Barber, sees even greater things in the future.
George said, “I knew he could do it – it was just a matter of when. He’s about two-thirds of the way up the mountain. Over the past three years he’s gone from 11-1 to 18-3 1/2. He’s going to keep improving. The main thing we’ve got to do is make sure he doesn’t get injured.”
by: Dave Krider