FREMONT — The weather forecast for Friday’s Pat Murphy/Fremont Invitational track and field meet called for sunshine, wind, thunderstorms and even some wintry precipitation if the festivities went long enough into the evening.
It all made for ideal conditions for pole vaulters Jake Sellon and Jaidyn Garrett as they both recorded all-time chart marks as the bad weather held off.
The boys pole vault was first and Sellon, a Fremont senior, energized the home crowd by clearing 16 feet, putting him in a tie for eighth all-time. Garrett, a Columbus sophomore and defending state champion, moved up into a tie for fifth by going 12-4 in the girls competition, 2 inches better than her previous PR of 12-2 earlier this season at the Doane Indoor meet.
“I had the mindset of going out today and getting a big one,” Sellon said. “I got some 15-7 poles in this week and I felt like I was getting up higher in practice over the bungee cord. I really wanted to do it in front of the home crowd.”
The 16-foot vault improved his personal record by 10 inches, and he made it on his first attempt.
“Everything just fell into place,” Sellon said. “Physically I felt good and I was confident on my new poles. The wind stayed out of the northeast and wasn’t swirling much, and with our wind screens along the fence, it was manageable.”
Sellon took two attempts at 16-4 but was not close on either one.
“I was just out of gas, my legs were gone,” Sellon said. “I’ll have to save that one for another day.”
Sellon finished in a tie for fifth at state as a sophomore, but a skin infection that developed after the district meet last season seriously hampered him at state and he did not clear his opening height.
“I was pretty sore where it was removed on my lower back and I wasn’t quite there at the state meet because of the medication I was on,” he said.
Sellon is currently undecided about where he’s going to pole vault in college. “Hopefully 16-foot will open up some opportunities for me,” he said.
Garrett said watching Sellon’s performance “got me excited about my possibilities today. Having the wind to my back got me on my big poles and that helped a lot.”
Being a state champion as a freshman has put the spotlight squarely on her, and Garrett tries to deflect the pressure as much as possible.
“All I can do is go out, have fun, stick to what I know and big heights will come,” Garrett said. “I don’t pick out a specific height and make that my goal. I just want to go higher every week.”
Lincoln Southwest won both the boys and girls team titles at the seven-team meet. The Silver Hawk girls amassed a whopping 263 points, far outdistancing Lincoln Southeast, which finished second with 86. Garrett was the only girls event winner not from Lincoln.
Southwest’s girls got individual golds from Taytem Coleman in the 200 (:26.08), Carson Fischer in the 400 (:59.61) and 800 (2:22.37), Alex Schwartz in the 1,600 (5:31.21), Danielle Rinn in the 3,200 (11:36.97), Caelyn Christiancy in the 100 hurdles (:14.59), McKenzie Steiner in the 300 hurdles (:48.62), Katelyn Thompson in the long jump (16-11¼) and triple jump (35-4), Nikki Dirks in the high jump (5-0), Abbie Squier in the shot put (39-9) and Annica Jonson in the discus (131-0).
Christiancy, the defending state champion in the 300s, did not run the event on Friday.
Southeast’s Sandy Leybold took first in the 100 (:12.79).
Southwest edged Fremont 165-156 to take the boys crown. Individual Silver Hawk boys winners were Luke Nolley in the 3,200 (9:47.95), Blake Van Ert in the high jump (6-2) and Jesse Lewis on the triple jump (44-11¼).