PAPILLION -- A little competition and a whole lot of wind helped Columbus’ Jaidyn Garrett blow away the girls pole vault state record at the Nebraska Track & Field Festival on Thursday at Papillion-La Vista South.
With a brisk northwest wind helping her along, the junior cleared 13 feet, 3¼ inches on her second attempt to move past Jenny Green of Grand Island Central Catholic into the top spot on all-time charts, edging the 13-3 the former Nebraska vaulter went in 2003.
Pushing Garrett to that new standard were Lincoln Lutheran’s Josie Puelz and Giltner’s Hannah Preissler who were second and third, respectively, at 12-0.
“That was a lot of fun,” said Garrett, who missed all three attempts at 13-6. “We had a good tail wind, and it was a great atmosphere. I just wanted to stay smooth down the runway and have fun.
“To have three girls over 12 feet, that never happens,” Garrett added. “That motivates you to do better.”
First Garrett snagged the Class A record when she easily made 12-10½ on her first attempt. She was determined to make even more history.
“I remember thinking, ‘I can do this,’ as I was going down the runway,” Garrett said. “I wanted to stay smooth throughout and just make it like any other jump.”
Last year, Puelz finished ahead of Garrett on the final season charts with a 12-8, which is now tied for fourth all-time. Garrett, the all-class gold medalist at state, had a season-best 12-5 in 2018.
“I felt a lot more motivated coming into my junior year,” Garrett said. “I wanted to show what I could do. My goal now is to be consistent over 13 (feet).”
Her father and coach, Pat Garrett, said the training focus the last two years has been on her runway approach.
“We’ve done a lot more work on the pole and getting inverted, and she’s taken it to another level,” he said. “I think the competition really spurred her on today.”
Kate Dilsaver was one of four Lincoln Southwest individual girls gold medalists, winning the 200-meter dash in 24.42 seconds, the fastest time in the state this spring. That’s seventh on the state all-time charts and the third best electronic time in state history.
Dilsaver edged out fellow sophomore Tate Norblade of Papillion-LaVista South, who finished in :24.65. Norblade’s time just missed the all-time top 10, but is tied for the sixth fastest electronic time in state history.
“The 400 was tough with the wind, so I was excited to get out for the 200 and have it (the wind) behind me,” said Dilsaver, who was third behind Lauren Houston of Omaha Marian in the 400, who won in :59.00. Houston was the Class A 200 and 400 state champion last season. “I wanted to get out fast and finish strong, but I never expected a time like that.”
Both Katie Thompson and Lindsey Blehm were double-winners for the Silver Hawks. Thompson took the long jump (17-11¾) and 100 hurdles (:14.68) and Blehm was the 1,600 (5:27.75) and 3,200 champion (11:45.00). Thompson’s hurdle time is the best in the state this spring.
Southwest’s Brianna Rinn was the gold medalist in the 800 (2:24.23).
On the boys side for Southwest, Jack Nolley took gold in the 800 (1:59.66) and 1,600 (4:37.73), Jesse Lewis was a double champion in the high jump (6-6) and triple jump (45-11½), Tyler Boyle captured the 3,200 (10:01.10) and Zach Jarosz won the long jump (22-2¼).
Another area winner in the state all-star event was Johnson-Brock’s Ty Hahn, who won the 200 in :22.17, edging Jarosz by .01 second.