TSSAA Girls AAA Pole Vault State Championships
Waking up Wednesday morning, I can hear the rain and wind pelting my window. Yuk! But it's the TSSAA State Track and Field Championships with the girls being the lone event on this blustery, rainy, and really chilly May afternoon. The girls AAA pole vault ended up being a test of resolve for a lot of the athletes and spectators alike.
Just before the start, the clouds opened up a bit and down comes what no vaulter likes to see, rain, and lots of it. But on the good side, it only lasted a short while. But the wind and chill, well, that was total another thing altogether. We had about 20 to 24 mile an hour winds with a spitting of rain every once in a while. But without a doubt, it did nothing to dampen these vaulting athletes from putting on a very good vaulting show this afternoon.
As is always the case, there were sixteen girls that qualified for the AAA vault so it's a really big field and packed with talent. The bar starts at about 6-6 and we saw several clear that and then went up past the 7 and 7-6 mark. As it approached the 8 foot mark, we started seeing some drop out and others coming in. Of course, with the wind and rain and cold, this wasn't an easy day of vaulting by any means!
The event started around two in the afternoon and by around 3:30 or so the meet started heating up, and the bar getting where it was becoming more of a challenge. Katie Wood of Brentwood was the first out of the top groups with a 10-0 jump and more missed than the fourth place finisher Daniel Boone's Caitlin Cutshall who also cleared the 10-0 mark. Melissa Briant of Collierville who also cleared 10-0 was able to secure the bronze spot. Melissa just barely missed the next height which would have been a PR for her, but still, third at the state meet is a great finish for sure.
And then there were two. The last two athletes left in the vault both had the look that they just didn't want to stop vaulting! So they kept going, and both cleared 10-6 on the first attempt. Brittany Bishop (Anderson County) and Taylor Pickett of Brentwood were in for a strong finish for sure. Then the bar was up to 11-0 and both cleared that on their first attempt again. This was getting exciting for sure! And remember, it was still really windy and cold. So far though, the rain wasn't an issue at this point. I was cold earlier but somehow I wasn't too worried about being cold at the time. I don't think these two girls were worried about it either. This was getting fun. When the bar was up to 11-6, Brittany missed on her first try and Taylor cleared it. Now it was getting tight.
On Brittany's next height, she cleared the 11-6 with authority. Then the 12 foot mark was up in front of the girls, nobody left but these two. They both cleared it with Brittany clearing in less misses than Taylor. As they tried the 12-6, it seemed that was the end of the day for them both. But getting a twelve foot vault in those conditions was just a tremendous accomplishment and the way these two girls battled Wednesday afternoon was very exciting!!
Get ready for the Girls and Boys state championships Thursday and Friday now!
See you on the track,