Keller Citizen

Eaton pole vaulters set sights higher this year

Kaylee Payne and Allyn Tyler both reached the state track and field meet last season in Haslet Eaton’s first varsity season in the sport.

This year, the junior pole vaulters are looking for a little bit more.

“As far as district, area and regionals go, I’m really just looking to qualify and move on to the next meet,” Tyler said. “Once state rolls around, I’d like to bring a state championship home to Eaton.”

Tyler jumped a 12-0 at the regional meet in 2016 to win a regional championship and said she has been very pleased with how things are going so far this season.

“Preparation up to this point in the season has been full of technical, long practices and has been filled with lots of hard work, so I’m expecting big heights soon,” Tyler said.

The Eaton junior said her attitude toward the event has evolved since last year, which she hopes will give her an edge as she prepares for the track and field postseason.

“Last year I would’ve described myself as a very ‘run fast and grip high’ kind of vaulter, which I would say still fits my style,” Tyler said. “However, this year I’ve started to embrace and fully learn the technical aspect of the jump.”

For Payne, an 11-foot vault at the regional meet in 2016 punched her ticket to the state meet, and the Eaton junior said the goal for her is to get back to state.

“Last year I vaulted off of talent,” Payne said. “But this year I’ve put in effort and worked harder in hopes of cleaning up my jump and vaulting higher.”

Coach Kevin Burns said he is feeling good about the level at which his two vaulters are competing as district gets underway, and said he feels confident both girls can advance.

“I like our chances, and I expect they will compete at a high level,” Burns said. “All of their goals are right in front of them and the first big step starts tomorrow so it should be exciting.”