YUKON – Down to her final attempt at a height of 10-6 in the girls pole vault at the 5A state track championships on Friday, Grove’s Braleigh Bechtol thought back to all the things she had done to get to that point.
“All the hard work, all the nights I stayed late at practice, all the candy I gave up,” Bechtol said. “It just went into that jump.”
Bechtol cleared 10-6 on her third and final attempt then cleared 11-0 on her first try. The junior then watched as Edmond Deer Creek’s Abigail Stanley couldn’t match her, giving Bechtol the state title.
“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Bechtol said. “I try [to make things dramatic]. It’s just my personality.”
Bechtol came within one inch of her personal best and school record height, set at Pryor earlier this season.
Bechtol was one of three individual champions for the Lady Ridgerunners on the first day of the state championships, with fellow juniors Michaela Werner and Emilee Iverson repeating as state champions in the 3200-meter run and the high jump, respectively.
The three wins vaulted the Grove girls into the lead in the team standings with 39 points, 13 points ahead of second place Shawnee.