Justin Rogers Vaults To Penn Relays Gold

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Justin Rogers was told what to expect at Franklin Field on Friday.

"I have heard time and time again, Penn is a wind tunnel," the Hershey senior said. "Sometimes it swirls around in that horseshoe shape, but me being a little stubborn, I never believed it and I was just hoping for perfect conditions."

Perfect conditions they were not in the High School Boys' Pole Vault at the Penn Relays in the Friday morning session. But despite some high winds on the infield, Rogers powered through and came away with the title, clearing a best of 16 feet, 0.75 inches (4.90 meters).

Rogers went jump-for-jump with Nicholas Lourenco of Saint Anthony's (NY) after both entered the competition later than the rest of the field. Both cleared 15-9, and then Rogers got over the 16-0.75 bar and Lourenco could not to secure the win for the Pennsylvanian.

"I haven't really had that bar-for-bar feeling, misses matter type of meet since indoor nationals, so it was really nice to get that pressure back in me," Rogers said. "I thrive under it sometimes."

Rogers wanted to break the meet record of 5.04 meters (16-6.5) which has stood since 2011 by Arlington's (NY) Jordan Yamoah, so after he had the win in hand, he moved the bar up to 5.05 meters. He had some good looks at it, but it didn't come for the University of Virginia recruit.

It's a very quick turnaround for Rogers, who is heading to Millersville University on Friday night to compete at the Cy Fritz Open. Rogers, who jumped a PA all-time best of 17-0.25 indoors, has been anxious to get back over 17 feet. After feeling good today, he's looking forward to having more opportunities tonight. 

"I wish I had just one more jump today so I could really seal it off. Now I do. I get plenty of jumps," Rogers said.

We'll see if he can get his second win of the day at Cy Fritz, and possibly a Pennsylvania state record. Regardless, he's got a Penn Relays watch to hold onto forever.