Track: Frontier’s Jack Vecellio breaks pole vault meet record at Central/West Championship 

  • Frontier's Jack Vecellio clears the bar in the pole vault at the 2021 MIAA Central/West D2 Championship at Lunenburg High School on Thursday. Vecellio broke the meet record with a height of 15 feet, one inch, winning the event and qualifying for the All-State meet in the process. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

  • Frontier's Jack Vecellio competes in the pole vault at the 2021 MIAA Central/West D2 Championship at Lunenburg High School on Thursday. Vecellio broke the meet record with a height of 15 feet, one inch.

  • Frontier's Jack Vecellio competes in the pole vault at the 2021 MIAA Central/West D2 Championship at Lunenburg High School on Thursday. Vecellio broke the meet record with a height of 15 feet, one inch.

  • Greenfield's Theo Popusoi competes in the pole vault at the 2021 MIAA Central/West D2 Championship at Lunenburg High School on Thursday. Popusoi tied his personal best with a height of 12 feet, six inches at the meet. STAFF PHOTO/THOMAS JOHNSTON

  • Greenfield's Theo Popusoi competes in the pole vault at the 2021 MIAA Central/West D2 Championship at Lunenburg High School on Thursday. Popusoi tied his personal best with a height of 12 feet, six inches at the meet.

Staff Writer
Published: 6/17/2021 9:26:22 PM

LUNENBURG — It was another record breaking day for Frontier's Jack Vecellio at the MIAA Central/West Division 2 Championship on Thursday.

The junior cleared a top height of 15 feet, one inch in the pole vault at Lunenburg High School. That mark was not only a personal best, but a new meet record, breaking the old height of 15 feet even set by Greenfield's Vladimir Popusoi back in 2014.

“I got pretty much everything out of what we could with the poles we had,” Vecellio said. “I'm totally happy with a personal record, a school record and a meet record. It was a good day.”

Vecellio came into the meet hoping to break the aforementioned meet record. He just nicked the pole on the way down, but not enough for it to fall off in his 15-1 jump.

He let out a scream of joy on his way down before crashing into the mat.

“I hit it but I knew it was going to stay,” Vecellio said. “I was thrilled about it. We've been working so hard and waiting so long for this. I haven't PR'd in two years. That was the best moment in a long time.”

The 15-1 height proved to be his best jump of the day, though he is still hoping to qualify for nationals with a jump of 15-6.

Working in a new set of poles on Thursday, Vecellio said he liked where he was at and feels confident he’ll be able to break that 15-6 benchmark soon.

“I want to get comfortable with the last pole I was on,” Vecellio said. “That was my first time using it ever and I put a really good jump on it. I want to get more comfortable on that one. I think I have big things to come with that pole.”

Finishing just behind Vecellio in second place on Thursday was Greenfield’s Theo Popusoi. The junior tied his personal best with a jump of 12 feet, six inches.

By placing second, Popusoi also qualified for the All-State next Saturday.

“It’s an accomplishment,” Popusoi said. “I’m happy with what I’ve done. I felt like I’m doing really well. This was my goal and I’m here doing it now.”

The junior said he feels he has more to give in the pole vault. He just missing a 13-foot jump on Thursday, a height he hopes to clear next week at All-States.

He’ll also be competing in the 400-meter hurdles and the triple jump when the Central/West meet continues on Saturday back in Lunenburg.

“After missing the season last year, coming back and tying my PR feels great,” Popusoi said. “Pole vault is a hard event to get back into after time off. I was right there at 13 feet as well. I was over it but I hit the bar on the way down. I’m confident I’ll be able to get that at states.” 

The best individual performance for locals on the girls side went to Frontier’s Amelia Sobieski, who placed fourth in the javelin with a toss of 96 feet, seven inches. Reilly Isler competed in the javelin as well and finished with a throw of 82 feet, six inches.

Abigail Howard was one of several Frontier athletes who set personal records on Thursday. Howard ran her fastest-ever time in the 800, crossing in 2 minutes, 34 seconds. That bested her old PR by two seconds.

The time placed her 13th overall, and Howard said she was proud of accomplishing her goal for the race.

“My expectation was to compete hard and improve my personal best for the season,” Howard said. “I knew some of the girls and I knew I wanted to beat them. It made it a nice, friendly competition. I felt like I was pushing it so I knew I had a good time.” 

Frontier’s Jesse Kurkolonis set a personal best in the javelin with a toss of 136 feet, seven inches to place eighth on the boys side. Erich Brown had his best time of the season in the 800 with a time of 2:10.17, and Hannah Mackin also set a personal best in the mile with a run of 5:45.11. Brown finished 13th overall and Mackin took 10th in her event. 

Two Mohawk Trail athletes competed on Thursday, as Cullen Brown placed fourth in the javelin with a throw of 144 feet, two inches. Dennis Simmons placed sixth in the 2-mile with a time of 10:29.81. 

Mahar’s Max Gilmore placed first in the boys para javelin with a toss of 44 meters.


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