Apex vaulters dominate 4A championships

cbest@newsobserver.comFebruary 10, 2014 

— Apex High’s pole vaulters have pushed each other toward excellence all season and they continued to do so Saturday during the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A state championship.

Coach Mark Trezona’s vaulters claimed the first three positions in the boys’ competition and the Cougars’ Anna Eaton won the girls’ title with a jump of 12 feet.

Senior Joe Devries won the boys by clearing a personal record 15 feet, 6 inches. Junior Michael Utecht was second (15 feet) and junior Drew Pederson was third (14 feet).

Devries said the competition in practice pushes each of the vaulters.

“Excellence breeds excellence,” Devries said. “Those two guys, we all push each other so much. If one of us is not having a good day in practice, the other two are there to push you, to make you strive to get it right.

“It’s an incredible advantage to have practices like that every day.”

Devries topped his personal best by a foot. He was surprised.

“I really started out rough today,” he said. “I missed every jump and run up I had during warm ups. I had to move my hands up more on the bar and move the standards up towards the bar.

“The struggles early focused me. When something’s not going right, it just motivates me more to make it right.”

Easton set her sights on winning the indoor title last spring when she finished second in the outdoor championships.

"Now I know how great it feels to win something like this," she said.

The Apex boys and girls each finished fifth in their team competitions.

Tim Stevens contributed to this story.

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