By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.– It was Jefferson’s Hannah Grantom’s last meet of her prep career.
The recent Lion-grad had just started to do the pole vault last year and since had seen a two-foot improvement from her seven-foot-four-inch PR as a Junior and had hit nine-feet-six-inches jumping when the Coronavirus closures hit as she entered Saturday’s State Championship Pole Vaulting Meet at Springfield High School.
“Really, because I didn’t expect it,” smiled Grantom. “It was definitely a shocker because it’s been a rough season.”
The nine-foot-four-inch PR put her within eight inches of the Jefferson school record of 10-feet entering the meet. She wanted that record, and with it being an official meet, if she would have tied it or broke it, the record could have been worked into the school’s record book under the circumstances that this past Spring had presented itself.
She started at the baseline, seven-foot-ten-inches. Grantom got that in the second jump. Cleared eight-foot-four-inches in the first jump, eight-foot-ten-inches in her second jump. Grantom was two complete jumps from a possible attempt of tying the school record entering her first attempt at nine-foot-four-inches.
“It’s really nice. It would’ve been a PR, an official PR if it would’ve happened. It would’ve been really nice,” said Grantom.
Grantom was on the footsteps of history. Complete the height would’ve made the nine-foot elevation official from her practice run with Rise Above The Bar. Her eight-foot-10-inch completed height counts as a PR coming off her Junior year.
Grantom’s first jump, didn’t go her way. Second, form wasn’t right.
Heartbreak struck in the final jump. Too far back as she went up towards the bar as she couldn’t complete the height. Grantom picked herself off the mat and made her way to her stuff, putting her pole away.
As her fellow competitors continued she looked at her form on the tablet that was filming her during her jumps. It pained the Jefferson vaulter knowing she was so close to what she wanted to do.
“It was…it makes me emotional,” Grantom giggle fighting back her emotions. “I was on-track for it. Like I said, 7’6” at the beginning of the season. It stinks, it’s a 10-year record that I would have broken. It’s kind of unfortunate.”
Grantom finished 12th in the State Meet in a field of 16. But for the Jefferson athlete, who recorded a no-height at State as a Junior, there was a sense of closer and fun as she wrapped up her High School career Saturday afternoon.
Closing this chapter and moving onto another on a high-note.
“Yes, yes it’s a lot of fun,” smiled Grantom. “It was really nice because we took a break for a couple of months when COVID hit. Everything got put away, Dan said that they were open so I’ve been practicing with them for the last two months.
“Obviously I wasn’t where I was at the end of the year. I was jumping nearly 9’6”. The last day of practice I was jumping 9’6” and then I took a six-week break because of COVID, it’s been really nice though.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald