Kevin Weber’s pole vault of 13 feet in 1972 was one of the longest-standing Brainerd High School track and field records.
After standing for 34 years, the record has now been shattered four times in the last eight years.
In 2005, Nick Lesmeister tied it and Nick Edwards seized the record at 13-6.
A year later David Beilke became the record-holder with a 13-7 vault.
Josh Murrey became the latest record-holder during the Brainerd quadrangular May 15 when he went 13-8.
“I felt good that day, I was pretty loose,” Murrey said. “I did the 100 dash, I believe I was third in that, and I did the long jump for the first time, and I believe I jumped 19-4 but scratched on that jump, but I still placed second (at 18-8).
“My last event was pole vault and I won the meet at 13-0. Then it went up to 13-3 just to set my personal best. I made that, I believe on my second try. It went up to 13-8 and I made that my third try and broke the school record.”
Murrey thought he could possibly set the record this spring.
“But I didn’t know when,” he said. “We haven’t had a good season so far, the weather’s been bad. We haven’t had good vaulting weather.”
Warriors head coach Rod Reuer said Murrey has become a technician of his event.
“He spends a lot of time researching it on the Internet,” Reuer said. “He has worked at learning the tools of the game. Maria Macioce is their coach, she’s new at it as well. She’s there to guide them, yet she’s also learning as they are.”
Reuer said Murrey is the prototype pole vaulter, standing about 6-1 and weighing about 180 pounds.
“He’s strong, fast, agile, has good body awareness, he’s got all the attributes it takes to be pole vaulter, and he has devoted a lot of time to it,” Reuer said. “We could have used him in other events. Last year we were fortunate not to need him (in other events). This year it’s the same thing. We’ve just let him do his own thing.
“He has jumped into the long jump and gone over 19 feet, almost 20. He could be one of our top sprinters if need be, but we’ve kind of let him focus on pole vault. Physically, he’s got what it takes.”
Murrey’s ability was evident in 2011 when he finished 12th in the Class 2A state meet. Not bad for an athlete who began his track career as a distance runner.
This season he’s been pushed by teammates Jackson Dols, Tim Nelson and Miles Pearson. The competition has made the foursome one of the better pole vault squads the Warriors have had in recent memory.
“We’ve got a good core group,” Reuer said. “The other thing is this year, besides Josh, Dols has gone 13-0, Tim Nelson and Miles Pearson have gone 12-6. There were years I would have given anything to have an 11-footer, now we’ve got four. I’m going to have to leave one at home because we can only bring three from here on out. We’re going to end up leaving a 12-6 or better pole vaulter at home, which will be a tough decision to make.”
Competition among teammates has been beneficial.
“Dols has been a great teacher, along with a great athlete,” Murrey said. “I appreciate him helping me and I try to help him as much as I can. Since we haven’t had a permanent coach the past couple years we’ve kind of had to coach each other, even though coach Macioce has been a great help this year.”
“Other notable efforts:
• Nikki Anderson, allowed one hit and struck out 13 with no walks against Sartell.
• Jenny Muesing, girls golf, captured the conference championship Monday.
Mike Bialka, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.