Northern Cambria pole-vaulter earns gold at states
SHIPPENSBURG — Gus Yahner is going out on top.
The Northern Cambria senior cleared 15 feet in the Class AA pole vault to win the state title Saturday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.
The top seed in the event entering the state meet, Yahner was one of two competitors to clear 15-0, but he wasn’t on top of his game. He missed once at 14-0, his opening height, and he missed twice at the next height, 14-6. He composed himself to clear 14-6 and then 15-0 on his first attempt before missing all three jumps at 15-6.
He won the title by virtue of having fewer misses than the second-place finisher, Springfield’s Chris Stone.
“After I cleared 15, I felt really good, but then I couldn’t get a good jump after that. It was just an off day, I guess, but it was good enough.”
Despite walking away with the gold medal, Yahner’s struggles left him wishing he could have done better, explaining his muted celebration.
“It’s not my best jump,” Yahner said with a laugh. “The gold medal is obviously great. It’s what I’ve wanted since forever. But I was really looking at that 15-11 (state) record coming in. I was hoping to get a shot at it.
“You just always wish you could do a little better. But I’m very, very happy with myself.”
Yahner was likely competing in the pole vault for the final time. He will attend the University of Pittsburgh and plans to major in pre-med. Yahner figures his studies will consume too much of his time to compete in track, too.
“That’s a great way to stop,” Northern Cambria coach Fred Montanaro said.
Read complete coverage of the state track and field meet in Sunday’s print edition.