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state meet and some points for the Vikings

Posted Saturday, June 02, 2012 by Mike Hout

We spent a whole year trying to forget about last year's state meet.  How wonderful to come back home and sit down at this computer to type out the results from this year.  With an eye-opening starting height of 13-6 for everyone, there was no room for error.  Zak Kruer went right to work and cleared that and 14-0 on his first jumps.  That would have given him 7th and 8th place last year.  But not this year.  This would turn out to be an historic year.  Yes, we can say it.  It was the greatest pole vaulting in the history of Ohio.  And we aren't just talking about the winner, who set an Ohio all-time best.  We are also talking about the depth of the field.  For the first time ever, eight vaulters cleared 15-0.  But we are getting slightly ahead of our story.

What a joy to sit on the Ohio State infield and know that your vaulter made it over opening height, unlike the previous year.  What a joy to sit on the Ohio State infield and know that your vaulter is solidly over 14-0, which placed last year.  What a joy it is to sit on the Ohio State infield and see so many others vaulting so well.  Wait?  How many were over 14-0?  Thirteen!!!  We are just going to have to clear 14-6 to get a place.  Boom.........suddenly Kruer looks human with his first miss and we begin to wonder if a place is possible in this deep field.  Whew.  His second attempt was good.  Maybe that will give him a place?

The bar is raised to 15-0 and Zak is one of the first vaulters.  He wastes no time in setting up and approaching the bar from 82 feet.  He hits his midstep of 37-6 right on the money and is just slightly under his 12 foot take off.  The plant looks good.  Nice hang.  Great rock back!  Wow......this might just be........IT IS!!!  It is a clearance with room to spare.  And on his first jump.  This is going to make it tough on the other vaulters.

Indeed, it did make it tough on the other vaulters but still four went on to clear 15-4.  Sadly, Zak was not one of them.  His first jump at that height was his best.  Interestingly enough, it took 15-0 to place at this amazing high school meet.  Thankfully, Kruer's first attempt clearance put him ahead of three other vaulters and he gets to go home with the 5th place medal.  It is not as shiny as the second place medals by Larry Jessee in 1970 (2nd) and Dwayne Gard in 1991 (2nd) but he did something neither one of them did in the state meet and that was to clear 15-0.

Of course, he also has one more year to head back to the state meet.  And his two years of attendance have given him some good experience.  We look forward to next year when we will also have many other potential boys and girls who can join him in Columbus for this fantastic season ending meet.

Here are the results to the boys Division I meet:
http://www.baumspage.com/ohsaa/tf/2012/b1.htm

Here are the links to all the results in every division:
http://www.baumspage.com/ohsaa/tf/2012/index.htm

It seems like there are plenty of other things to talk about this afternoon of track and field glory.  My plan is to write an article for the paper about Zak's performance, the Gahanna Lincoln record setting pole vaulter, meeting his mentor who has been the head coach at Gahanna Lincoln for 60 years, the finish of Division III girls race with two girls helping each other over the finish line, how I coached the Columbus Academy 35 years ago when they won their first state title and now was able to be there when they won again this year and more.  

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