Clear The Bar Raise The Bar: Lovejoy/Texas Express

The Lovejoy Texas Express Holiday Invitational brings in some of the top pole vaulters in the country year in and year out as they all look forward to getting early competition under their belts.

This weekend, we saw more of that in both the girls and boys Gold fields. The girls field saw four girls reach the 12-3 height, which is awesome for the first meet of the season.

Coach Anthony Lightfoot brought several of his Missouri star vaulters including Gabrielle Hoke and Rachel Homoly both came down to get a taste of the Texas flavor, as the two finished 1-2 in the Gold Division. "I'm really proud of my performance today, we've come along way since last year with my form and everything," Hoke said. Homoly is just a freshman and this is a huge performance for her although she already has a couple of 12 foot jumps in her career. "A big goal this year has been to get stronger and stronger," she said.

The other two 12-3 jumpers were good old home grown Texas vaulters. Two time 3A state champion Abeni Kratzmeyer from Mineola was able to start the season off with a big hit. Having the Missouri girls at her first competition of the season suited her perfectly, "It's always good having some really good competition at meets, I know it pushes me to do better and it makes the competition more exciting," she said.

Southlake Carroll vaulter Reagan Hukill was also able to up to the 12-3 mark. The senior was able to start her season off with a big mark that could prove to be huge for her. 

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The boys gold division also saw some good heights. Wylie senior Ethan Hesson and McKinney Boyd junior Spencer Buley were the top two vaulters over the weekend. Both vaulters went 15-3 for a great start to their seasons.

Hessey said, "It was going good, the first three bars I hit on first attempts." Hessey's day was going so well that eventhough its only indoor season, he already moving up on poles, "I went to 15-9 on one of the biggest poles i've had ever. "

It wasn't just Hessey jumping well. His Texas Express teammate Buley had a positive day of vaulting as well. "To get 15-3 was a good start to the season, I'm not unhappy the way today went, 15-3 is a great mark to start the season." He also got on the biggest poles that he ever has as well. "This season, if I can work on those bigger poles, that's definitely going to open the door for those bigger heights for me."

We saw just a sample size of vaulters going at it this weekend at Lovejoy, but it clearly is a sign that this year is off to a great start for the pole vault event.

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