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Almeria, Wade win Times-News pole vault

May 3rd, 2013 10:47 am by Pat Kenney

Almeria, Wade win Times-News pole vault

Dobyns-Bennett junior Jamie Almeria. Photo by Ned Jilton.

KINGSPORT — Well, that didn’t take long.

The opening event of the 35th
Times-News Relays produced a meet record.

On Thursday, at Sullivan North,
Dobyns-Bennett junior Jamie Almeria flew over the crossbar at a height of 9-6 to
set a meet record in the girls pole vault competition.

The previous
record was 9-2 set by Tennessee High’s Brittany Linkous in 2010.

Devon
Wade from University School successfully defended his Times-News boys pole vault
title with a leap of 13-0. He finished the competition tied with Unicoi’s Kyle
Green, who also cleared 13-0, but Wade won on fewer misses.

Almeria
attacked the bar from her opening vault and seemed unfazed by the strong head
wind at the pit. She easily cleared 9-0 and was joined at that height by Boone’s
Abby Howe and Science Hill’s Savannah Hirst.

All three vaulters missed
their first two attempts at 9-6.

On Almeria’s third attempt, she cleared
the bar.

Howe and Hirst failed to clear on their third attempts and
Almeria was the only competitor left in the competition and had the gold medal
clinched.

She attempted to clear 10-0, but could not negotiate a height
12 inches over her previous best.

“There was so much adrenaline running
through me,” said Almeria. “I was really nervous. But I know I can go higher. I
just have to work harder on my technique and get that invert right."

Howe
finished second with Hirst third.

Wade and Green did not enter the
competition until the bar reached 12 feet. Wade cleared the bar on his first
attempt and Green missed.

That proved to be the difference at the end of
the competition.

They both easily cleared the bar up to 13-0 but neither
could muster a vault over 13-6. The final result went back to
misses.

“Kyle and I are like brothers competing against each other,” said
Wade, a senior who will vault at Lipscomb University next yea. “We love going
against each other, but we both hate losing to the other.”

Science Hill’s
Jacob Laughlin was third at 11-6.

“I wasn’t really that confident today,”
said Wade. “I completely bailed on my second attempt at 13-6 and just couldn’t
get comfortable.

“But it’s great to win the Times-News for a second
straight time.”


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