On a loaner pole, Guida resets school vault record
KREMMLING – The will to run madly and fling yourself up in the air is critical, but not the only part of the equation of pole vaulting. Under the category of dramatic sports insights, an important ingredient in pole vaulting would be the pole itself.
And that’s been part of the drama these days at Battle Mountain. Zach Guida’s been just too good for the poles the school owns.
He started the season at 13 feet, 1 inch, busted the school record at 14-2 at the Eagle Valley Invite 12 days ago and went 14-6.5 at Wednesday’s meet up in West Grand.
Guida hit that mark using borrowed poles from Western State College. Guida actually drove down to Gunnison Tuesday to get those poles. His coach, Scott Graves, has gone so far as to rent some more poles through the mail out of his own pocket.
While this is not an ideal financial situation for the coach, it’s worth it.
“It makes me proud to see the results and the gratification of the kids when they make those bars (heights) and school records,” Graves said. “This crew has talent.”
Guida is just one example, though a startlingly-good one, after breaking his own school mark. His 14-6.5 ranks him No. 2 in the state in 4A behind Steven Wacker of Longmont. (The top-18 vaulters in 4A go to state, and Guida is all but assured of a berth.)
“It feels pretty awesome. It’s just like scoring a touchdown,” said Guida, who knows about the latter from first-hand experience.
Guida was pretty stunned when he heard what his coach was doing.
“He called me up and said, ‘I just got some poles,'” Guida said. “I was like, ‘What?’ It’s pretty great for him to do that.”
As big of a curve as there’s been for Guida so far this season, Graves thinks the senior can go higher.
“To tell the truth, I think he can got 15-6 or 16,” the coach said. “We can tweak a few things with his run and his swing.”
Guida isn’t the only one going high for the Huskies. Molly Childers broke her own school mark at 10-2 Wednesday. (More cake, people.) Bailey Garton went 9-8, on what Graves called “a tough day” for her. There’s also LaRose Currie, who’s out right now with a bad back. Graves says that she should be in the mix by the end of the season.
Defending champ on a roll
Not to be left out, Vail Christian’s Kylie Alexander also put on a show at Kremmling Wednesday. The defending 1A state champ went 9-8, breaking her old mark of all of 12 days (9-2 at the Eagle Valley Invite).
To put this in perspective, she won the state title at 8-9 last May. The top nine in 1A make the state meet and Alexander’s nearest competition in the division is Merino’s Malia Michel at 7-6.
“It’s not beating other people. It’s beating the bar,” said Saints coach Charlie Alexander, aka Dad, and the Western Slope’s godfather of pole vaulting. “As a coach, I’m watching 4A and 5A. The cool thing for her is that she’d be top 10 in 4A.”
Yep, and in some good company. Alexander would be sixth in 4A, and Nos. 3 and 4 just happen to be Battle Mountain’s Childers and Garton.
Vail Christian’s Mack Cooper went 10-6 Wednesday. It wasn’t the best of days for him, but he can console himself in the fact that he holds down the No. 1 spot in 1A with a leap of 11-7 this season.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.