LAKEWOOD - On the back side of his potential record-breaking vault on Thursday morning at the Class 5A state track and field meet, Monarch's Max Manson brushed the bar with his chest.

On his descent to the mat, he watched the bar bounce on the uprights.

"It was the most slow motion jump," Manson said. "I remember watching as I wrapped around it, hitting my chest. Watching it slowly inch towards the edge ... I couldn't believe it stayed at first. I was totally expecting it to fall down. It took me a couple seconds to realize it actually stayed."

When the bar settled, the crowd at Jeffco Stadium erupted and Manson popped to his feet and raised his arms in triumph after not only securing his first state title, but breaking a 32-year-old state meet record in the event.


Manson's vault of 17 feet, 3.5 inches clipped the previous mark of 17-3 set in 1986 by his father, Pat.

"It was so much fun," Manson, a junior, said of breaking the record. "I've always just kind of looked up to that as this big, cool goal that I've always been striving for. It felt really good to be able to actually do it."

Manson's victory was just the start of a stellar day for the family, as his sophomore sister, Mia, won her second title in the 5A girls pole vault.

Monarch’s Max Manson celebrates after clearing 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the pole vault to secure the 5A state title and break a 32-year-old state meet
Monarch's Max Manson celebrates after clearing 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the pole vault to secure the 5A state title and break a 32-year-old state meet record held by his father, Pat. Go to for more photos. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

"We've always thought that would be such a cool thing to do," Max said of both siblings winning.

There was little doubt about either of them taking home the title, with both coming in as the top seeds.

Max easily won the title, even with teammate Cole Rowan - the 2017 champion - posting an impressive vault of 15-8 to take second. The drama came from Max taking a stab at his father's record.

With ideal conditions and his father watching from the stands, Max finally got his goal.

"Everything felt so dialed in and great," he said. "Every year at the state meet, I don't know if it's the adrenaline or the hype, but everything came together. My step was on, I was getting good takeoffs and the jumps were just feeling really nice."

Shortly after his record-breaking vault, Max got a big hug from Mia.

"It was so exciting," she said. "I know he's been working so hard for it and it was really fun to see him get it."

Mia, however, still had her own work to do and it wasn't easy. She vaulted 12-6 to win the title, but Rock Canyon's Tameryn Coryell was not far behind at 12-3.

"I was just hoping for a fun day, a good meet," Mia said. "I'm going to have to rest a little bit after this because I have a foot injury. I was just hoping to be able to do one last jump for fun before I have to take a break."

Mia's injury has prevented her from practicing in recent weeks, but she fought through it to repeat as champion.

"I've been taking it pretty easy the past two weeks, so I didn't know what to expect, but I knew my mind would probably be clear," she said. "It was good.

"I have not pole vaulted in two weeks. I was a little bit nervous, but it's just so in my muscle memory now that I knew even if it wasn't a good day, I would still be able to do OK."

Max was impressed, saying of Mia's performance, "Given the circumstances, that was amazing."

In addition to the Mansons and Rowan, Monarch earned several other medals.

Heidi Liles placed fourth in the girls pole vault, while Charlie Perry (sixth) and Isaac Russo (ninth) both placed in the boys 3,200 meters. The Coyotes also placed sixth in the girls 3,200 meter relay and seventh in the boys 3,200 meter relay.

This day belonged to the Mansons, however, and with both coming back next year, Mia said, "Hopefully next year it'll happen too."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or