TCA senior Andrea Willis broke the state record in girls’ pole vault for the second time in six days.
After soaring 13 feet, 41/4 inches at the Longmont Invitational on Monday, the University of Kansas commit reset the record at 13-5 at Garry Berry Stadium on Saturday, helping lead the Titans’ girls team to a win with 87 points at the Palmer Terror Invitational.
The record stood for eight years before the week began.
Now, it may not last through next weekend.
“I was jumping pretty well in the indoor season and I wanted to carry that through outdoor season,” Willis said. “I didn’t jump good my first two meets, but last (Monday) we had some OK weather and it came together.”
This day? Even better.
Willis sprinted down the runway and folded over the 13-5 bar to set the record. She celebrated with her back on the mat, her arms raised in the air. This came just before she narrowly missed setting the record, again, at 13-8.
“Maybe if there was more wind, I don’t know,” she said.
Most importantly for her and her coaches, the record is back in Colorado Springs after a nine-year hiatus.
Titans pole vault coach Kelli Ehardt, who owned the state record for Rampart in 2007 before it was reset the year after, embraced her protégé after the meet.
This was the defining moment they’d been waiting for.
“Our whole goal was to bring the state record back to Colorado Springs,” Ehardt said. “It was good to get it back here.”
TCA stumbled on to Willis’ talent two years ago.
Her gymnastics background and 6-foot frame made her an ideal fit for pole vault. So she tried it out, won the state title as a sophomore in her first year. She did it again as a junior.
Thankfully, she said, someone told her she was “too tall” for gymnastics.
“I thought maybe I could walk on for gymnastics or get a little scholarship,” Willis said. “But I’m like ‘OK, I’ll try pole vaulting and see how it works.’ And it’s worked out very well.”
Fossil Ridge took second on the girls’ side of the meet with 78½ points. Cheyenne Mountain took third (67).