LOUISVILLE — Set in 1986, Aurora Central graduate Pat Manson's Class 5A state meet pole vault record of 17 feet, 3 inches was one that many in the Colorado prep track and field community thought may never be broken.
Turns out, all it took to break the record was for another generation of Mansons to come of age.
Manson's 32-year record fell at the state meet this spring, and it was his son, Monarch junior Max Manson, who took it down. Max Manson cleared 17-3.5 to win his first state championship and reset the all-time 5A state meet record.
"It still kind of feels like a dream," Max Manson said. "It's just this crazy dream that happened. It was just such a fun, exciting day and I was so happy that I got it. I guess next year, the goal is to put it over 18 feet. That's kind of been this far-off goal and if everything went perfectly, it felt like something I could do my senior year. Now that I was able to get that state meet record, it seems like it might be more of a possibility."
Pat Manson still holds the all-time Colorado prep record of 17-7.5, which he also set in 1986 while he was a student-athlete at Aurora Central. The national record is 18-2.25, set by Eric Eshbach while he was at Orangefield High School in Texas.
Continuing Monarch's dominance of the pole vault in recent years, Max Manson's sophomore sister Mia Manson won her second 5A state title this May, clearing 12-6 to win the 2018 gold. Senior Cole Rowan, who won the pole vault title last season, finished runner-up to Max Manson and Heidi Liles took fourth in the girls competition for the second straight year.
Starting with Andrew Barlow in 2014 and led by highly-respected coach Mike Tully, the Coyotes have now won six pole vault titles between the girls and boys teams in the last five years.
"Monarch did really great this year," Max Manson said. "It was awesome to have Mia up there and then Heidi and Cole. Especially Cole, he had kind of been struggling this season and then he just came through and had a great day. We just have such great coaches and we'll keep doing our best to keep it going."