Chris Chappell wins at Simplot Games

Chris Chappell already has possession of one state pole vault championship and the Douglas High School record. He's looking for more in his senior year, but not necessarily any records.

"I'm not all that concerned about breaking records, I just want to jump high," Chappell said after he vaulted to first-place and established a personal record mark of 15-feet, 9-inches Saturday night at the prestious Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho. "To me, if you're going for records, I think you're doing it for the wrong reaons. That means you're probably just doing it for the fame. I just pole vault because I enjoy it."

Chappell certainly went high - his mark ranks among the best ever by a Nevada prep vaulter and is actually higher than the state meet record of 15-7 set by Reed's Brad McClelland. And by going that high, he bested a field of vaulters from eight states during competition at Idaho State University's Holt Arena.

He wasn't the only Douglas vaulter to shine, either, because fellow senior Jason Jarrett placed fourth with a personal record clearance of 13-9.

Chappell was merely happy to clear a height which improved his previous best of 15-4 set last month at the USATF Pole Vault Summit in Reno.

"I was so excited," he said. "I really surprised I made it. I only made 15-3 on my third attempt. Then at 15-9, I went up a pole. I went to a pole I hadn't used before, so I was a little skeptical about my chances."

Mike Erickson of Sequim, Wash., finished second at 15-3.

Six vaulters cleared 13-9, but Jarrett earned his fourth-place finish by being the only one to make that height on the first attempt. Incidentally, sixth-place was awarded to Reed's Matt Herald, who was the runner-up behind Chappell at last year's zone and Nevada state meets.

"That was the first time I'd ever been to a really big meet, so it was a good experience for me," Jarrett said. "I would have been even happier if I had made 14-3. I had a good second attempt, I rode back as hard as I could but my top hand slipped."

Jarrett's previous best mark of 13-8 was set at the Pole Vault Summit.

"That was awesome. I was really happy for Jason because he's been working hard to get up there," Chappell said of his classmate.

Adding to the excitement of the trip to Pocatello was the opportunity to see Stacy Dragila set a new world women's record by clearing 4.57 meters (15-feet, 1-3/4-inches).

Chappell will compete again March 11 at the National Scholastic Championships in Indiana.


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