Starr places third in pole vault at state championships

Breaks own school record for third straight week
By: Matt Long
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Mike Starr didn’t reach his goal of pole vaulting 16 feet, but he did one better by placing third at the state track and field championships held Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis. Starr, who graduated from Folsom High last month, put a nice finishing touch on his high school career with his first state medal. For the third consecutive postseason meet, Starr set a personal-best and school record, clearing the bar at 15 feet, 11 inches. He finished third in the battle of the “Mikes” as Mater Dei’s Michael Woepse won with a height of 16’5” and Clovis East’s Mike Peterson placed second, equaling Starr’s height of 15’11”. “I wasn’t as nervous during the finals because I didn’t feel as though I had to get a mark,” Starr said. “I was just trying to do my best. It was good because I got on poles that I hadn’t gotten on before. On my last attempt (at 16’5”) I was blowing through the bar, but I didn’t switch out because I didn’t know if I had enough energy.” Starr switched to a bigger pole at 15’5” and cleared the bar and then at 15’11”, he said he just “went for it” and succeeded on his first attempt. “My last attempt at 16’5” was pretty good, but I just wasn’t getting the height that I needed (with the pole I was using,)” Starr said. It was an outstanding finish to Starr’s season. After a mediocre regular season, Starr increased his best vaults, as well as Folsom High’s school records, each week of the postseason, clearing the bar at 15’4” at sections, 15’7” at masters and 15’11” at the state meet. After topping out at 15’ a year ago, Starr hadn’t even cleared that until the section championships. “By the time I started thinking about the state meet this season, I didn’t even think I was going to make it,” Starr said. “I think once the competition got better that helped me out. At sections I was just out to prove myself to everybody. At the masters meet, it was a friendly competition for bragging rights. The state meet was just all or nothing; just going for it.” While Starr didn’t achieve his goal of breaking the 16’ barrier, he’s got one more chance. He plans to compete in Saturday’s Golden West Invitational at Folsom High, his last meet of his high school career.