Saints win pole-vaulting title
DENVER — It really is a Vail Christian thing.
“It felt good to continue with the tradition of Vail Christian being on top of pole vaulting,” Saints junior Cooper Daniels said.
Daniels went 14 feet on Thursday, and that’s Vail Christian’s eighth state pole-vault crown in the last five years.
Cooper Daniels was third last year at state behind teammate Nick Boyne, who won last year. Boyne was fourth on Thursday with a leap of 13 feet, 3 inches.
With Daniels’ win, it’s Vail Christian’s fourth in a row on the boys side as Gunnar Wilson came out on top in 2012 and Mack Cooper in 2013.
The girls’ side has been somewhat simpler with Kylie Alexander golden in 2011 and 2012 and Taylor Alexander in 2013 and 2014. Taylor, a junior, will not defend her title this year because of a shoulder injury in West Grand last month.
But, when in doubt, a Saint is still on top in pole vault.
“I just really didn’t mind the competition and just did it to the best of my ability,” Daniels said. “Fourteen feet, I was pretty stoked.”
“If he had a good coach, he probably would have gone higher,” Saints pole-vaulting coach Charlie Alexander said.
While he was joking, the coach has a pretty good track record with the aforementioned state champions.
In other action on Day 1 in Denver for Vail Christian, Ethan Pence finished eighth in the mile with a school record of 10 minutes, 10.15 seconds.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.