DARKE COUNTY – Two track and field athletes who are among the best pole vaulters in Ohio are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Ansonia boys track and field athlete Brock Shellhaas and Versailles girls track and field athlete Jenna Frantz.
Frantz leads Darke County girls in the pole vault, clearing a meet record 12 feet on Tuesday at the Stillwater Valley Invitational.
“That’s always a cool accomplishment,” Versailles track and field coach Mike Goubeaux said. “She’s just been fabulous.”
Along with being one of the best pole vaulters around, Frantz excels in other events, too. She’s second among Darke County girls in the 100 meter dash with a season-best time of 13.31 and is third in the long jump with a jump of 15 feet 11.25 inches. She also runs as part of Versailles’ 4×100 meter relay.
“She’s very athletic,” Goubeaux said. “She’s got all the tools needed to excel, and that’s what she’s doing.”
Frantz possess power, speed and agility, which allows her to excel in several events. She probably could be one of the best in other events as well if she had the opportunity, Goubeaux said.
“All those attributes lend well to the pole vault and long jump and sprinting,” the Versailles coach said. “There’s a lot of other events she could excel in.”
Frantz is a team-oriented person, Goubeaux said, and will do whatever the Tigers need of her. Her maturity and experience allow her to handle so many duties and perform them so well.
“Clearly someone who is very versatile like that is very beneficial to the team,” Goubeaux said. “She shows a lot of leadership for the team.”
Frantz is a three-time state qualifier, and she’s determined to get back to Columbus this year. As a freshman and sophomore she made state in the pole vault, and last year she made the state meet in the 4×100 relay.
While meet records are nice, Frantz’ focus is on returning to the state meet in the pole vault and making the podium.
“Her goals are bigger, and I appreciate that,” Goubeaux said. “She is driven to succeed in everything she does. She’s a motivated young lady.”
Like Frantz, Shellhaas is one of the best pole vaulters in Ohio. The Ansonia freshman already has cleared 15 feet this season.
He broke the Ansonia record, a record that was held by his father, Steve Shellhaas. He also broke the Stillwater Valley Invitational record along with Greenville’s AJ Frens.
“With Brock setting the school record and tying the Stillwater Valley Invitational record as only a freshman, it’s been really astonishing to watch,” Ansonia boys track and field coach Clint Neal said. “Just from watching him during the indoor track meets, you could he was going to great things.”
Shellhaas also excels in other events, too. He’s third in Darke County in the 110 meter hurdles with a season-best time of 18.10 and is fifth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.97.
“Brock’s also very dedicated and has a great worth ethic,” Neal said. “He’s always focused on improving in some aspect whether it’s vaulting, sprinting or hurdles. He’s one that will always give 100 percent, and I can’t recall ever complaining. He has goals and really commits himself to those goals so it will be exciting to watch him progress over the years to come. The Cross County Conference has a lot of talent so to watch Brock go out and compete not only in pole vault but in the sprints and hurdles as a freshman with those top guys is great to see.”
Shellhaas is only a freshman, but he’s already proving to be a special athlete for Ansonia.
“I think what makes him such a strong athlete is a combination of factors,” Neal said. “He’s got an excellent pole vault coach, his dad, Steve Shellhaas, so watching that father-son relationship is something special to watch. We’re really lucky to have Steve at Ansonia and helping the other area vaulters.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.