COLUMBUS – Greenville pole vaulters AJ Frens and Ryan Trick ended their season on the podium together at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state track and field meet.
Frens and Trick both competed in the Division I boys pole vault on Saturday afternoon at The Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus. Frens cleared 15 feet and finished fourth in the state while Trick cleared 14 feet 4 inches and finished sixth.
“It feels good,” Frens, a senior, said of ending his high school career on the podium in Columbus. “I ended up better than last year, which is kind of what I was shooting for. I didn’t get the height or the place I wanted, but that was just a result of just poor warmups and poor strategy going in. I took a lot of jumps in the warmups, and it’s 85 degrees and sunny … that kind of hurts you in the long run. So I probably could have done better if I conserved energy a little better, but I ended up on the podium, and I couldn’t ask for much more. It’s a little bittersweet, though. I wanted to end better, but I know I’ve got a good four years coming up.”
Frens qualified for the OHSAA state meet three times in his high school career. As a sophomore he finished fifth in the state then during his junior year he didn’t clear the bar.
Trick, making his first appearance in the OHSAA state meet, also wanted to perform better but was glad to finish his season with a spot on the podium.
“With my PR being 15-1 this year I definitely am satisfied with that, but my overall outcome today I wasn’t too pleased with,” the Green Wave junior said. “But I was on the podium, got sixth place, and I’m at state so I don’t have anything to complain about.”
Trick still has one more year of high school ahead of him, and he’s already looking toward next year. He hopes to break the Greenville school record that currently is held by 2009 OHSAA state champion Kevin Leland.
“Probably the school record, take it from Kevin,” Trick said of his goals for 2018. “I don’t know … just have a PR, 16-2 hopefully, and just keep advancing on higher and higher.”
Frens now will move on to the collegiate level and compete for Central Michigan University. He started vaulting in the seventh grade, he said, and is thrilled with what he’s accomplished in the past six years.
“Best decision I’ve ever made,” Frens said of starting in pole vault back in junior high. “It’s paying for most of my college now. I couldn’t have had a better experience, better teammates, better coach … just all the things. I couldn’t wish for much more. I’m sad to see it end, but I know I have a good four years ahead of me. I’m looking forward to it.”
Both Frens and Trick got emotional when talking about the time they’ve spent together.
“He’s the best teammate I could ask for,” Frens said. “He’s my best friend. He’s pushed me. He’s kind of lived in my shadow the past couple years. I’m really excited to see what he can do next year.”
“He’s my ride or die,” Trick said. “He’s always been here for me. He always gives me something to push for. He’s like my older brother I never had. I’ve loved being with him the past six, seven years or however long it’s been, but it’s been a crazy ride. I love having him around.”
For complete results from the state track and field meet, visit ohsaa.org.
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.
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