Pole vaulter Rogers finishes ninth in country
During the past few years, Kyle Rogers has proven himself to be one of the top high school pole vaulters in Missouri.
Now he can call himself one of the best in the entire country. Rogers, a Liberty High School senior-to-be, finished ninth in the 17-18-year-old division of the boys pole vault competition at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships on Sunday, July 31, in Sacramento, California.
“Ninth in the country is still impressive, but it could have been better,” Rogers said. “To be honest, I’m still a little disappointed.”
Rogers cleared 4.7 meters — 15 feet, 5 inches — at the national competition, which actually tied for sixth place. However, he slipped back to ninth after tiebreakers from a few missed jumps on earlier heights, and he missed out on the top eight and All-American honors. Lee’s Summit’s KC Lightfoot cleared the top height of 16-4.75 along with two other competitors but had to settle for third place.
During the high school season back in the spring, Rogers cleared a LHS school record 16-0 on the way to grabbing Class 5 state runner-up honors for the second year in a row at the MSHSAA Track and Field Championships. In late June, he cleared a competition personal record 16-3 at the inaugural Kearney Street Vault.
“I knew I had to clear 15-11 to finish top eight,” Rogers said. “I was close, but unfortunately, it just didn’t happen.”Rogers previously earned All-American honors as a freshman in the 15-16 age division at the USATF Nationals. Now he finally has some time off before turning his attention to the indoor season this winter — highlighted by the National Pole Vault Summit in January in Reno, Nevada — and then his final high school outdoor season in the spring, while looking to land a scholarship at the NCAA Division I level along the way.
“It’s going to be good to have a little break, and then I’ll jump into a training program to get stronger and faster,” Rogers said. “The high school season is almost a whole year away. I have a lot of time to get better before then.”