Hays High School senior pole vaulter Jessica Doyle became the fourth high school girl in Texas history to reach 13 feet Friday at the District 26-4A championships in San Antonio. The first Texas girl to make it, former Hays pole vaulter Britni Lawrence, coached Doyle at the meet. Lawrence made the mark in 2003, but pulled hard for Doyle to break it, figuring it’s as good to coach the record as to hold it.
Instead, good friends Lawrence and Doyle share the record, which isn’t the only thing they share. Both are Texas high school state champions in the pole vault. Lawrence won it in 2002 and Doyle won the championship in Class 4A last year.
Lawrence went on to vault for a year at Texas Tech before transferring to Texas State. However, foot fractures that began to hamper her in high school kept her from competing for the duration of her college years.
Doyle has signed a letter of intent to pole vault at the University of Texas. Doyle’s state title as a junior last year came as no surprise, since her vault of 12 feet, eight inches entering the meet was the best in the state. Doyle topped that at the state meet, going 12-9.
Now that Doyle has hit 13 feet, the state record is within her reach. Generally, the University Interscholastic League recognizes state records only if they occur at the state meet. Next up for Doyle is the Region IV meet in San Antonio, followed by the state meet in May.
Once Doyle made 13 feet Friday, meet officials raised the bar a quarter of an inch to see if she could go over, but Doyle nudged the bar on all three attempts. However, she has two meets left in her high school career to take the record for herself.
For information on Hays County, visit www.hayshighway.com where this article first appeared.