Haven Lander turned in her best vault of the year at precisely the moment she needed it, clearing 11’9” to set up her second consecutive state pole vault championship Friday in Jefferson City.
For Lander, this year’s championship is even sweeter, especially after Republic jumped from Class 4 to Class 5.
“That was completely unexpected,” she said minutes after her victory. “Last year, Elleigh [Spragg, of Logan-Rogersville] and I were very close. We both had a really good chance. This year, I expected everyone to do a lot better than me because I had been stuck at 11’6” all year.”
The day got off to a difficult start when Lander missed on her first attempt at 10’0”, but she didn’t let it phase her.
“I wasn’t too shocked, because I messed up on my run,” she says. “I knew that when I went to do my second attempt, I would clear it and I would be fine.”
After winning last year’s Class 4 championship and this year’s Class 5 title, which is sweeter for Lander?
“This year, because I had a lot more competition and it’s my senior year,” she says. “It was really awesome to be able to go out with another win.”
Lander finishes her career with two state championships and the school record, set last year, of 12’0”. She says her competitive spirit helped push her over the top Friday.
“My practices have not been very good. When I get into meets and I see the competition around me, I step it up and I do a lot better than I expect myself to,” she says.
Rackley Runs 15th in 800m
Republic’s only other competitor during Friday’s action at the state meet was Treydon Rackley, competing in the 800-meter run. Rackley turned in a time of 2:03.668, finishing 15th. He ran his fastest lap of the year during the first half of the race, finishing it in :58.449.
O’Hara Takes 11th in Long Jump
Sophomore Lauren O’Hara finished 11th in the long jump in her first trip to state. O’Hara jumped 16′ 4 1/2″. She was the top sophomore finisher.