DARKE COUNTY – Darke County has become a hotbed for producing some of the top pole vaulters in the nation. Thanks to local school districts, the Ultimate Air Club based in the Ansonia area and the families of four local pole vaulters, these athletes had the opportunity to show off their skill at the 2019 New Balance Indoor Track & Field Nationals at The Armory in New York City.
Earning an opportunity to compete against the top athletes in the country is not an easy task, but Darke County was honored to have Brock Shellhaas of Ansonia High School, Riley Hunt of Greenville Senior High, Selene Weaver of Franklin Monroe High School, and Lucy Prakel of Versailles High School represented their communities on a national stage.
Shellhaas competed in the boys Championship division where he finished in 17th place with a vault of 4.52 meters (14’ 10”). To compete in the Championship division, Shellhaas was required to have vaulted 15.06 meters during the indoor season or 16.01 meters in last year’s outdoor season.
Hunt’s vault of 12’ 6 1/4” inches (3.82 meters) was good enough for 12th in the nation. She was required to qualify for the Championship division with a 12.06 meter leap during the current indoor season or 12.08 meters during last year’s outdoor season.
Weaver and Prakel competed in the Emerging Elite division. Weaver finished 32nd with a vault of 3.42 meters (11’ 2.6”) and Prakel finished just behind in 37th place with a vault of 3.27 meters (10’ 8 3/4”). In order to qualify for the Emerging Elite, each girl was required to qualify with either an 11.07 meter vault during the current indoor season or 12.03 meters during last year’s outdoor season.