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Starr qualifies for state meet

By: Matt Long
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Folsom High senior Mike Starr placed third in the pole vault at the Masters Track and Field Championship at Hughes Stadium at Sacramento City College on Thursday, thereby qualifying for the state meet to be held June 5-6 at Buchanan High School in Clovis. Starr qualified for the meet in spectacular fashion, clearing the bar at 15 feet, 7 inches, which improved on his own school record of 15’4”, which he set last week at the section championships. He then had two good attempts at 15’10” before bowing out of the contest and attending graduation ceremonies at Folsom High. “It went really well,” Starr said of the competition. “Something different yesterday was just helping me get the extra inches that I needed. I could try to explain it but nobody would probably understand what I’m talking about.” Starr had a good day from the start, as he cleared the bar at 13’4”, 13’10” and 14’4” all on his first attempt. He got over 14’7” on his third and final attempt and then cleared the automatic state qualifying height of 14’10” on his second attempt. Starr’s workload took a lot out of him, as he was tired throughout the competition, but he stepped up and cleared the bar when he need it most. “In between jumps I’m just focusing on clearing my next height,” Starr said. “I know some guys mediate and all that, but I just go with whatever is going on at the moment.” His successful vaults at 15’4” and 15’7” placed him third behind Rocklin’s Robbie Simmons (16’4”) and Cale Simmons (15’10”). The third-place finish made up for last year’s Masters Meet, where Starr failed to qualify for the state meet, partially because of windy weather conditions. His goal now is to qualify for the top-9 and make it into the finals. “I was ranked 12th in the state at 15’4”, but I don’t know where the 15’7” puts me,” Starr said. “I don’t have a specific height in mind as a goal, but 16 feet would be nice, just because it sounds a lot better than 15 feet.” Starr’s vaulting teammate, Scott Hayes, placed 19th in the event, clearing the bar at 12’4”. Another jumper, Folsom’s Jessica Gannon, competed in the high jump and placed 18th at 4’9”. Sophomore Tyler Trosin made the finals in the long jump where he ended up sixth with a leap of 21’ 10 ½”. Finally, the girls’ 4x100-meter relay team of Sarah Hockensmith, Gannon, Selena George and Makenzie Harsch placed 17th in 50.98. The final round of the Masters Meet will be completed today at Hughes Stadium at Sac City College.