Sydney Horn's senior season took another big leap forward on Saturday. The Manheim Township senior improved on her own state and national lead in the pole vault, clearing a new indoor personal best of 13 feet, 4 inches at the Kevin Dare Invitational.
Back at Penn State where she notched the win at the PA indoor state meet last winter, Horn won a terrific battle in the event that featured the nation's top two vaulters entering the weekend.
Horn got the best of Erin Kelleher from Delaware's Padua Academy. Kelleher got over 13 feet to take second. With the bar at 13 even, Horn faced a do-or-die situation, needing to clear the bar on her third and final attempt because Kelleher had already cleared 13 and had the advantage over Horn on misses. Horn got over 13 and followed that up with a clearance of 13-4 on her second attempt.
"It was a little nerve-racking," Horn said of her 13-foot jump that kept her in the competition. "I just needed to move up poles and that was really my struggle right there."
Watch Horn's US No. 1 and winning vault of 13-4 below:
Horn took three attempts at 13-9.5, which would have topped Katie Jones' all-time Pennsylvania state record (13-9.25 from 2017) by a quarter inch, but couldn't quite clear the bar. Jones, a sophomore at vaulter at Penn State, was in attendance helping out with the event.
"I like competed her (at Penn State)," Horn said. "It's an amazing atmosphere."
Horn came into the meet with the US No. 1 vault at 13-2 from the Franklin & Marshall Invite #1 back on December 28. Horn's 13-4 from Saturday was also matched by two girls -- Ashley Callahan from California and Taylor Starkey of Arizona -- at the Pole Vault Summit in Nevada over the weekend, so there is currently a three way tie for the national lead.
Kelleher's best of 13-0, which she matched at Kevin Dare, has her at US No. 6.
Horn's 13-4 also improved on her own Pennsylvania No. 2 all-time, still just trailing only Jones. Her outdoor best stands at 13-6 from a duel meet last season. She won the indoor and outdoor (AAA) state championships last season. Horn will be among the favorites to go for the repeat back in State College on the first day of March.
So far, the High Point University signee is off to a great start to her senior season.
Check out Phil Grove's full interview with Horn after the meet below: