Bingham’s Stetler, Westlake’s Christensen share pole vault state record


Girls’ state track and field • Bingham’s Stetler, Westlake’s Christensen both clear record 12 feet; Stetler gets the win.
Provo • Bingham freshman Hannah Stetler already traded state records in the pole vault with Westlake junior Adara Christensen earlier this year.
The pair of friendly competitors train together on a club team run in the offseason by Miners coach Kody Pierce and cheered each other on throughout Friday’s competition at the state track and field meet.
It was fitting then, and not a bit distressing to either of them, when they both cleared 12 feet on their third attempts, eclipsing the previous state record by a full 5 inches set just a couple of weeks ago by Christensen at the BYU Invitational.
Stetler earned the gold medal because she had nailed every jump cleanly on her first attempt in the earlier rounds, while Christensen needed a few more tries, but she collected a hard-earned silver.
Stetler just turned 15 and has been vaulting for only three years, but she brought some attributes from earlier athletic endeavors that have helped her advance rapidly in this discipline.
“I was a gymnast, but I come from a track family,” she said.
When she made the decision to quit gymnastics at the beginning of seventh grade, her mother enrolled her with Pierce the next day. It’s turned out to be a terrific decision.
“I love this,” she said. “It’s high-paced and exciting. You feel like you’re flying.”
Stetler had actually cleared 12 feet earlier in the season at a practice meet, but admitted she was motivated in part by the desire to make it official.
“Compared to other freshmen, she’s both physically and mentally more mature because of her background,” Pierce said. “She couldn’t have been much more prepared that way.”
Her achievement and a gold medal by senior Whitney Rich in the 1,600 meters helped vault Bingham into first place in the 5A standings with 30 points after Day 1. Davis sat second at 23, followed by Herriman with 22 and Syracuse 21.
Box Elder had an excellent opening day with 29 points to lead 4A. Addisyn Peacock took silver in the shot put, and the Bees got contributions from several other placers to earn the tally. Judge was second with 16, and Orem third with 15.