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Soaring to new heights


Tualatin's Laura Taylor comes out on top in the duel of two of the state's premier pole vaulters

by: DAN BROOD - UP AND OVER -- Tualatin High School junior Laura Taylor clears a school-record height of 11 feet, 6 inches during last week's dual meet at Tigard High School. Tigard junior Liz Prouty cleared 11-0 at the meet. TIGARD — Everything was just right.

The weather was nice.

The rivalry had everyone’s adrenaline flowing.

And Laura Taylor was going up against what could be the top competitor she’ll face all season.

For Taylor, a Tualatin High School junior, that all added up to an impressive, record-breaking performance in the pole vault event.

Taylor, dueling Tigard sophomore Liz Prouty, broke her own school record and set her own outside personal-best mark, by clearing 11 feet, 6 inches when the Timberwolves faced the Tigers in a Pacific Conference track and field dual meet held April 10 at Tigard High School.

“That feels real good,” Taylor said following the pole vault competition. “I’ve been wanting that height for awhile now. Everything about today was just right — it was a nice day, I was going up against Liz and it’s Tigard against Tualatin.”

The pole vault competition provided just some of the highlights of the spirited girls meet, which saw the Tigers come away with a 75-70 victory. With the win, the Tigard girls improved to 2-0 in league dual meets while the Tualatin girls saw their record evened at 1-1.

Going into last week’s meet at Tigard High, Taylor had the top pole vault mark on the season for the state, at 11-1. Prouty was ranked second at 10-6.

With last week’s pole vault competition down to just Taylor and Prouty, the bar was moved to 10-6. Taylor cleared that height on her first attempt. Prouty, after just barely missing on her second try at 10-6, cleared the bar on her third attempt.

With the bar at 11-0, Taylor and Prouty both had successful vaults on their first attempt at that height.

“After that, there was no excuse not to clear 11-6,” Taylor said. “I liked it. I had to do it.”

Taylor cleared 11-6 on her second attempt at that height. Prouty missed on all three of her tries at 11-6.

Taylor then had the bar moved up to 11-9. She missed on her attempts at that height, but her winning mark of 11-6 broke her own school record of 11-1. The 11-6 mark also is a new outdoor personal best height for Taylor, and it also ties her all-time best, as she also had a vault of 11-6 in indoor competition.

“Determination,” Taylor said in regard to the key to her victory. “And the competition really pushed me.”

Taylor is now looking for bigger vaults as the season goes on.

“My goal is 12-6,” she said. “But the next step is 12-0.”

Friday, when the Wolves competed at the Canby Invitational, Taylor had another winning height of 11-6.

But, that same day, Prouty had a winning height of 11-7 when the Tigers competed at the Westview Team Challenge. That gives the Tigard sophomore the top mark in the state, as of Tuesday.

Taylor and Prouty should match up at least a few more times this season. Tigard and Tualatin are both slated to compete in the Centennial Invitational on April 27. The should compete at the Pacific Conference District Championships, which will be held May 16-17 at Tualatin High School and, they potentially could have a final showdown at the Class 6A state meet, which will be held May 23-24 in Eugene.

For Taylor, the pole vault victory was just part of a big day she had in last week’s meet at Tigard.

She also teamed with freshman Karina Morehead, sophomore Ariana Pumpelly and sophomore Jasmine Gilmore to win the 4 x 400-meter relay in a time of 4 minutes, 13.96 seconds. Taylor also placed second in the 100 in a personal-best time of 13.07 seconds.

The Tualatin girls had other strong performances in last week’s nail-biter at Tigard.

Pumpelly was a four-time victor at the meet. In addition to her part in the 4 x 400 relay win, she sprinted to victory in the 200 in a time of 26.63. She had a winning time of 1:01.06 in the 400 and she teamed with sophomore Aryana Harvey, Gilmore and junior Kristi Workman to win the 4 x 100 relay with a mark of 51.27.

Timberwolf senior Emily Wisler jumped her way to a pair of victories. Wisler won the long jump with a mark of 16-2 and she had a winning distance of 34-11 in the triple jump.

Also for the Tualatin girls, senior Kayla Moore won the 3,000 in a time of 11:27.92 and junior Jasmine Suyematsu triumphed in the javelin with a throw of 109-7.

The Tualatin girls finished in third place in the team standings at the eight-school Canby Invitational on Friday.

In addition to Taylor’s win in the pole vault, the Wolves had two other victories at the meet. Pumpelly triumphed in the 200 in 26.17 and Moore had a winning mark of 11:25.00 in the 3,000.

Tualatin was slated to compete in a league meet at Century on Wednesday. Results of that meet weren’t available when the Times went to press.