The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX


April 26, 2014

CLASS 4A REGION III TRACK AND FIELD — Huntsville’s Wyatt finishes second in pole vault at Class 4A Region III meet

Lady Hornets advance in 400-meter dash, 4-by-100-meter relay

HUNTSVILLE — Huntsville senior Audie Wyatt pushed through a lingering hamstring injury in the pole vault. Now he’ll be competing on the biggest stage in track and field that Texas has to offer.

Wyatt placed second at the Class 4A Region III meet Friday by clearing 16 feet, 6 inches, which matched a personal record. By finishing among the top two spots, he earned a spot in the UIL Track and Field State Meet, set for May 9 and 10 at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas in Austin.

“I put a lot of stress on my hamstring and I was really worried it wouldn’t last,” Wyatt said. “It feels fine but I hadn’t done much on it in the last couple of weeks so I’m a bit out of shape. It may not seem like it, but conditioning is a big part of pole vaulting.”

Tomball Memorial junior Jacob Wooten, a personal friend and rival of Wyatt’s, was the top finisher posting 17 feet, a new personal best by an entire foot.

The pole vault event was set up for a Wooten-Wyatt showdown and neither of the two disappointed. They didn’t even start until the bar was raised to 14 feet, 6 inches. Tomball Memorial’s Antonio Ruiz was in the group with them.

All three cleared 14-6 with ease, then 15 feet and eventually Antonio fell out of competition at 15-6, clinching Wyatt’s spot in the state meet as one of the top two finishers.

Then the bar was raised to 16 feet and Wooten missed on his first attempt, but Wyatt elected to skip that height due to fatigue.

Still, Wooten and Wyatt tend to bring out the best in each other. So when Wooten cleared 16-6 on his second attempt, Wyatt did the exact same thing.

“They push me to do better,” Wyatt said of his Tomball Memorial opponents. “We practice together and we all enjoy competing. It’s good to have people there who push you because that’s how you become great. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”

Don Arnold and David Wooten, Jacob’s father, also help coach Wyatt. That’s part of what makes the competitors so comfortable in the field event.

“It helps that we push each other in practices,” Wooten said. “It makes it a lot more fun.”

Wyatt wants to clear 17 feet and be the top pole vaulter in the state. He’ll have that opportunity May 9 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.

“I wanted 17 feet so bad,” he said. “I want to be at the top and I’ll get there.”

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