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At some point during the Canopy Street Vault, the two lone competitors in the women's 19-29 age division struck up a conversation.

There was Taylor Ruzicka, a recent Doane graduate from Morse Bluff, and Tierney Casper, a Henderson native and music education major at Nebraska-Kearney. As they talked, they discovered that Casper went to school with Kelly, who married Tanner, who is the former roommate of Ruzicka's fiancé Colin.

Got all that? Good, because the short of it is Colin was in the couple's wedding.

The Canopy Street Vault: Bringing mutual acquaintances together since 2016.

"It's such a small world," Ruzicka said.

The Railyard in the Haymarket hosted the outdoor competition Saturday for a second consecutive year, with the event under the Cornhusker State Games umbrella for the first time. Casper, a 2015 Heartland High School graduate who doesn't vault at UNK, had competed in previous state games but not the Canopy Street Vault. She guessed she'd vaulted about 10 times this year, and the atmosphere and the locale made Saturday a unique experience.

"And then you have random people that are just walking around," said Casper, who won by clearing 8 feet, 6 inches. "I thought it kind of added a new, sort-of-cool element to it."

Ruzicka, who hadn't vaulted since the Doane track season ended about two months ago, competed in the Canopy Street Vault last year. But this was her first state games experience — "It was cool to receive a medal." — and even though she didn't clear the opening height of 8-6, she found camaraderie among the vaulters.

"It's so nice to be surrounded by this many people," Ruzicka said. "It's like you're on the same team. Everybody wants everybody to do well."

For Rocky Cauble and Logan Tenopir, the Canopy Street Vault was a chance to renew a friendly rivalry. Tenopir is a Lincoln Southeast graduate, where Cauble will be a senior this fall, and vaulted in high school with Cauble's older sister, Mikaela.

"So me and him go back and we have this little competition," Cauble said. "So it's kind of a chance to see who's better."

Tenopir lives in Texas now, but tries to get back at least once a summer for a vaulting competition. Cauble was on vacation during last year's Canopy Street Vault, so this year's event presented an opportunity to renew the, ahem, rivalry.

"He's taking it easy on me, going from a shorter approach," Tenopir said of Cauble. "I appreciate that one. It gives me a little bit of a chance."

What of that rivalry? It was technically a draw, as both failed to clear 13-6. Cauble finished sixth in the boys 17-18 division, while Tenopir was fourth in the 19-29 bracket.

They'll just have to sort out who's better next year.

"(A rivalry) that got built into one once he called me," Tenopir explained with a grin.

Reach the writer at or 402-473-2646. On Twitter @ClintRobus.


Digital sports editor

Clint Robus is the digital and assistant sports editor at the Journal Star.

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