New Jersey –Clinton-Massie junior Zach Borton said his pole vault goal at the beginning of the 2012 season was to clear 15-6.
He’ll have one more event to reach that goal. And it couldn’t come at a better time should he pull it off.
Borton will compete in the pole vault competition 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Division II State Track & Field Championship at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University.
“We’ll push it at state and see what we can do,” Borton said following his Region 8 championship last week at Welcome Stadium.
Defending state champion Matt Rowland of Bellevue cleared 16-1.5 last week to win his regional meet. The next best height among the 16 entrants, again based on last week’s regional competition, was 14-6. There are six athletes who posted better numbers than Borton last week.
In all, six of the nine underclassmen who qualified for last season’s state meet in the pole vault, have returned to this year’s meet.
Beyond Rowland, the top returnee is Dominic Bell of Gnadenhutten Indian Valley South, who was sixth last year.
But Borton has the district record at 14-9 and the Clinton-Massie record at 15-0, so he has pushed the bar higher than his 14-0 effort last week.
Borton had the region title at 14-0 but then attempted to set a new regional record by going over 15-1. He failed in that regard but could easily have went higher than the 14-0 had he continued up the ladder, so to speak, instead of going right to the regional mark.
That’s why it is so difficult to handicap the competition this week.
Borton was visibly displeased with his three tries at the regional mark. He said at this point in the season, there’s not enough time for a total overall of his pole vaulting technique.
“Work on one thing a week,” he said.
Borton said a bigger pole is one thing he’ll go to at the state meet. He also indicated more speed and the placement of his trail leg on take off are things that can help “get me to the next level.”
The best indicator of how Borton’s day will once Friday arrives, could very well be his maiden voyage on the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium pole vault runway.
“The first jump is the hardest,” said Borton. “Once you get past that, you can have some fun.” more