13-Year-Old Veronica Vacca Vaults 12 Feet

While the 2020 outdoor season has certainly been lacking for big performances amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania got a glimpse at one of its quickly rising stars on Saturday in New Jersey.

Veronica Vacca won the open girls pole vault at the Vault Factory's Fourth Of July Bash on Saturday in Basking Ridge, NJ. Vacca is a 13-year-old that competes for Philly Jumps Club and attends middle school at St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. She will be an eighth grader in the coming school year.

Vacca jumped 12 feet for the win, which is a 14-inch PR for the up-and-comer.

The main event at Saturday's pole vault-only meet featured newly-minted national record hold Leah Pasqualetti in the elite section. Pasqualetti jumped 13-9 for the victory -- not quite matching her record of 14-8.25, but a win nonetheless. Vacca's 12 foot clearance would have been earned her a fifth place finish in the elite section, but instead she picked up the open section win by a one foot, four inches.

Per the MileSplit database, she is the 85th girl in PA history to join the ever-growing 12 foot club, but is the only one to do it before she reaches high school. And Vacca still has another year of middle school left to go.

Vacca is a shining breakthrough in an otherwise bleak time. She will be one to watch in the years to come in the pole vault. 

Watch an interview with Vacca as well as a replay of the live coverage of the meet below.