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Track and field: Silver Creek’s Megan Kelleghan sets state 4A meet record in pole vault

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Megan Kelleghan, of Silver Creek, sets a state record in winning the 4A pole vault during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021.

  • Megan Kelleghan, of Silver Creek, sets a state record in winning the 4A pole vault during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Megan Kelleghan, of Silver Creek, sets a state record in winning the 4A pole vault during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Simon Saia, of Niwot, flexes after finishing second in the 4A 3200 meter run during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Zane Bergen, right, goes out and wins the 4A 3200 meter run during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Lucca Fulkerson, of Niwot, wins the 4A 3200 meters during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021.

  • Zane Bergen, of Niwot, wins the 4A 3200 meter relay during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Zane Bergen, left, and Simon Saia, of Niwot, celebrate after their team won the 4A 3200 meter relay during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • The Niwot boys collapse after the 4A 3200 meter run during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • The Niwot 3200 meter relay team at the top of the podium during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Zane Bergen, of Niwot, gets the stick from Curtis Volk, during the 4A 3200 meter relay during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Lucca Fulkerson, of Niwot, wins the 4A 3200 meters during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Kyle Varra, of Centaurus finished second in the 4A pole vault during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Quin Dukes, of Mead, competes in the 4A pole vault during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Lucca Fulkerson, center, of Niwot, Maggie McCleskey, of Centaurus, and Mia Polk , of Niwot, in the 4A 3200 meter run during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Megan Kelleghan, of Silver Creek, sets a state record in winning the 4A pole vault during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Lucca Fulkerson, left, Mia Polk, both of Niwot, and Maggie McCleskey, of Centaurus, in the 4A 3200 meter run during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Taylor James, of Niwot, runs in the 400 meter prelims during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Eddie Kurjak, of Longmont, competes in the 4A long jump during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Tyler Mayer, of Mead, competes in the 4A long jump during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • LAKEWOOD CO - June 24, 2021: Tyrese McClinton-el, of Centaurus, competes in the 4A long jump during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Lucca Fulkerson, of Niwot, runs the first leg of the 4A 3200 meter relay during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Sally Marshall, of Longmont, doing the long jump during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Katie Carroll, of Niwot, in the 4A long jump during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Katie Carroll, of Niwot, in the 4A long jump during the first day of the Colorado Track and Field State Championships at Jeffco Stadium on June 24, 2021. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

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LAKEWOOD – Within 15 minutes of winning the Class 4A state championship in girls pole vault, Silver Creek’s Megan Kelleghan was already enjoying some star status Thursday at Jefferson County Stadium.

Friends, family and strangers congratulated her. One young fan asked to take a selfie with her. She also posed for photos and conducted interviews.

“It’s still a little surreal,” the sophomore said. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I just did that.’”

In her first state meet, Kelleghan not only won a championship but broke a Class 4A state meet record in the process, vaulting 13 feet, 4.5 inches. She cleared the bar with ease on the record-breaking vault.

“It was very exciting because I’ve been so close,” she said. “Today it just pieced together. I was scared at first because there was supposed to be rain and wind. It ended up being perfect weather, so I’m very relieved with it and happy I was able to clear that.”

Kelleghan took advantage of the ideal weather to become the second Raptor to win a girls state title in pole vault, joining Abba Gray, who won in 2018.

There wasn’t a lot of drama to Kelleghan’s title. Coming into the state meet, she was the overwhelming favorite, because her best vault of 13 feet was more than two feet better than the field.

Lewis-Palmer senior Alexa Oatman broke her personal record twice to clear 11-6 and put a little pressure on Kelleghan. Oatman missed on all three attempts at 11-9, however.

Kelleghan didn’t even start vaulting until the bar was at 11-9, and she cleared that height on her second try to secure the title. She then cleared 12-3, 13-0 and her record-breaking vault of 13-4.5. Kelleghan topped the previous mark of 13-4 by Classical Academy’s Andrea Willis in 2016.

“It’s more pressure on myself, personally,” Kelleghan said. “Even when I’m with people who vault close to me I try to stay in my own little bubble around myself. You can’t compete against people in this because it’s all about the bar, it’s all about your form. It’s you and your own self. That’s what I try to think about.”

After breaking the 4A state meet record, Kelleghan went after the all-time Colorado record of 13-9, but missed on all three attempts. Considering she has two years of high school ahead of her, that would have been a bonus.

“I have quite a while and I think I can do it,” she said. “I also have a bunch of USATF meets coming up (this summer), so I’m just excited to vault higher.”

She was also excited to simply have a state meet. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nobody in Colorado was able to compete in 2020. Kelleghan’s prep career got started later than she hoped, but it started with a bang.

“I had a senior boy at Creek who was supposed to vault with me (in 2020) and we had planned for two years, ready to vault together,” she said. “Then it got canceled and I didn’t get that season with him, so that was sad. I came out this year and was all for it.”