Vaulting to New Heights

The MSHSL pole vault record book was rewritten this weekend as new state marks were set in every event but the women’s Class A vault.  As the runners circled around the pole vault pit completing their races on the track, the crowd’s attention was continually directed to the vault runway on the West corner of Klas Field in anticipation of the next record attempt.

The boys started it all on Friday morning when Mitchell Valli of Buffalo captured the Class AA championship by clearing 15’7.5″ to set a new State Meet standard for the AA vault.  He then had the bar raised to 16’1″ because that was the accepted standard among the “Three Muskateers of Minnesota HS vaulting,”–Valli, The Blake School’s Grant Kreiger, who would be vaulting later in the Class A competition, and Lakeville South’s Lee Bares, who failed to qualify to compete in the State meet.

The trio had been jumping higher and higher throughout the year. Much of it  chronicled in a May Star Tribune article HERE  Kreiger vaulted 16’1.25″ at the New Balance Indoor Nationals.  Bares had cleared 15’9″ and Kreiger went over 16′ this spring.  All this leaving the status of what is the Minnesota All Time record uncertain as the “paperwork” for “ratification” of these accomplishments as records.  (article to appear on soon on DtB “When is a record a record?” will try to explain the record keeping process as the pole vault record is not the only one that is different depending on where you look).

Valli, who started his sports career as a baseball player in the seventh grade and also played football and basketball despite his body type, which is more that of a gymnast, could have settled the issue had he cleared the height. He didn’t, so it was up to Krieger to try and “one up” Valli’s mark.

The Blake senior was confident, not only of clearing 16′, but that he also had a shot at at least 16’6″, he said.  He’d cleared 17′, his ultimate goal this season, in practice, he added, but all those plans changed when a groin strain made icing the injury and merely winning the competition “Plan B” for Saturday’s competition.  Krieger and Pequot Lakes junior Tyler Tappe  tied for the Class A title at a height a foot below what Krieger intended, 15’6″.

Rochester Century High’s Andrianna Jacobs didn’t have any of the difficulty encountered by the boys.  She cleared the bar at 13′ with room to spare to set the new standard for girls, setting the undisputed All-Time record and winning the Class AA title.  (Read more later in a longer piece to be on DtB  soon. “anatomy of a Record.”  The story of how the record happened.)

 Blake Grant Vaulter Magazine

Blake Grant Vaulter Magazine


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