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Norwalk's Sommers places sixth in Div. I state pole vault

By KEVIN SHIELDS • Updated Jun 3, 2018 at 3:31 PM

COLUMBUS — Early misses wreaked havoc on Jake Sommers’ ability to place in the top five of Saturday’s Division pole vault at Saturday’s state track and field championships.

Still, a new personal-best height of 14-feet-10 earned the Norwalk sophomore a sixth-place finish in a competition won by Centerville’s Yariel Soto at 15-feet-6 at Jesse Owens Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.

Sommers missed once at 13-feet-6, twice at 14-feet, once again at 14-feet-6 and twice at 14-feet-10, before setting his new best mark on his third try.

“That made me tired more than anything, but I’m happy that I placed high,” Sommers said. “I’m definitely going to miss my teammate Owen Rhodes. It was hard to see what happened to him today because we all know that he can jump higher than half the kids here.

“I’m just happy to be placing as a sophomore,” he added. “But it was bittersweet seeing Owen struggle today.”

Rhodes cleared 13-feet-6 with one jump, but took three jumps to get past 14 feet before missing all three at 14-feet-6 to finish 11th overall. Rhodes had a PR of 15 feet entering the meet, which he set last week at the Div. I Amherst regional.

After a 29-year hiatus, this was the fourth season the pole vault has been back as an event at Norwalk High School. Both Rhodes and Sommers continued to clear the bar at new heights back-and-forth to set new program records. The 15-foot effort by Rhodes last week stands as the current record at the school. 

Prior to that, Sommers and Rhodes went 1-2 in the pole vault at the Sandusky Bay Conference championships on May 11 in Bellevue. Both Norwalk vaulters cleared 14-feet-6, with Sommers having less faults on his three attempts.

On May 16 at the Div. I district championships, Sommers again took first place at 14-feet-6, while Rhodes was third at 14-feet-3.

DIVISION II

Stoll ninth, Lesniak 17th for Chargers

Edison’s Sam Stoll was ninth in the boys 110-meter hurdle finals race on Saturday with a time of 15.07 seconds.

Meanwhile, Chargers freshman Abby Lesniak crossed the finish line in 12:07.80 in the girls 3200 to place 17th.

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