Branson Ellis is the defending UIL 6A state pole vault champ and he is on the hunt for another state title. However, yesterday that title chase almost came to an end.
Competing at the District 11-12 Area Meet 6A, the pole vault competition was going on and Ellis was waiting on his entering height. He entered the competition at 15-6, which was just a just a little higher than his normal 14-6 entering height.
When 15-6 came, the Tyler Lee senior entered, but things didn't go as you would expect them to go for the defending state champ. Ellis missed on both of his first two attempts leaving him in danger of no heighting and putting his season so dangerously close to being over.
With only one jump left, Ellis decided to do the unthinkable. He moved the bar up a whole foot. Instead of using his potential last jump trying to clear his entry height, the bar was now sitting at 16-6.
Unthinkable. Why? Well, not only because he moved the bar up an entire foot when he had missed twice at 15-6, but because Ellis' outdoor PR was 16-0.
Who does that?
With the season on the line and a do or die vault attempt inevitably on the way, the bar was half a foot higher than he had ever cleared.
Ellis dug deep, lifted his pole, and took off down the runway.
The results were season saving as he cleared the bar. This meant his season was still alive, he now had a brand new outdoor PR, and he tied the school record.
However, the expense wasn't over just yet.
With new life on the season and a new PR, Ellis' gambling decision making paid off and now he was going to attempts newer heights. Ellis would clear the next height which was 17-0 making him the top 2018 vaulter in Texas and #6 in the nation. His three attempts at 17-6 were unsuccessful, but showed him that he can get that high.
With regionals and the state meet still ahead, Ellis' campaign for another state championship is still alive. We now know that he is not shy of going for it with his decision making and his vaulting.
Branson Ellis' Personal Records
- Pole Vault (in) - 16-10
- Pole Vault - 17-0