Naples, FL–St. John Neumann’s Brian Ullrich doesn’t fit the mold for most pole vaulters as an eccentric thrill-seeker willing to launch their bodies skyward with little regard for the trip back to earth.”It takes someone a little out there to do this, but I wouldn’t say I fit the specific stereotype for pole vaulter. I just go out and jump,” Ullrich said.”Brian is the most even-keeled pole vaulter I’ve met. He is very methodical. He’s the antithesis of the out-of-left-field personality,” Celtics coach Mike Olayos said.That calm, cool and collected persona prevailed even as he was in a three-way battle for the 1A state pole vaulting title in Jacksonville on Friday.”I was a little nervous because I knew the other two could make it over at 14 (feet),” Ullrich said. “When they missed the next attempt I just knew I had it.”After all three vaulters missed on their 14 1/2-foot attempts, Ullrich claimed the championship because it took him fewer attempts to clear the 14-foot mark.
“Obviously a state championship is thrilling at any level, but this was particularly exciting,” Olayos said. “There was a lot of people watching after all three of them made the same height. It was pretty nail-biting.”
Ullrich credits assistant field coach Steve Mazzula for much of his progression as a pole vaulter. Ullrich, a senior, will sign his letter of intent to continue his career at Bellarmine University, a Division II school in Louisville, Ky., during a ceremony Tuesday at the high school.
“I visited over the summer and then again during Christmas break, and I really like the area and the program,” Ullrich said of the decision. “The coaches there have been keeping an eye on me and so when they offered me a scholarship I made the choice.” more