For The Tribune
Colton Ritz had a rocky start, and Lance Roark had a big start.
In the end, both were good enough to earn a spot on the medals podium at Saturday’s Boys Track and Field State Finals.
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Ritz, a Brownstown Central senior, entered the pole vault competition at 14 feet and missed his first two attempts. He cleared that height on his third try, then made 14-6 and 14-9 on his first attempt and finished in sixth place.
“It wasn’t the height I was looking for, but I’m always happy, always blessed to be able to come out and pole vault,” Ritz said.
Ritz, who plans to continue his career at to Indiana Wesleyan, had cleared 15-0 in a meet at Columbus East this season. He came close to clearing 15-0 on Saturday, but just missed.
“The standards were off,” Ritz said. “I was on a different pole on that one and shallow standards, but I went too deep.”
Meanwhile, Roark, a Seymour sophomore, leaped 22-8 ¾ on his first attempt in the long jump in his first trip to the state finals. That held up for eighth place.
“It was crucial because after I do my first jump, I usually get tired,” Roark said.
The 22-8 ¾ jump was Roark’s personal best and was more than three feet better than his best last year, when he did not make it out of the sectional.
“I just hit the weight room a lot more,” Roark said.
Brownstown had a second pole vaulter at the state meet. Junior Caleb Bollinger tied for 22nd at 12-6, which he made on his third attempt.