2024 PTFCA Preview: Jumps and Vaults

* Drake Risser at the PTFCA Indoor Track Carnival | Photo by Ryan Comstock

Pole Vault Previews

The Girls

Editor Prediction: Veronica Vacca wins with a Vault of 14-3 (New State Record).

This might be the Veronica Vacca show. In 2024, the Mount Saint Joseph star has already vaulted the state record twice. Her 14-1.25 clearance at the 116th Millrose Games won her the title and moved her to the US No. 3 slot.

Vacca is undefeated in 2024 and has previously won multiple national championships. She does have a PIAA title to her name, but she'll be looking to score her first PTFCA title on Sunday. No other PA girl has cleared 13 feet this season.

The battle for second could be much closer. Lilyana Carlson (Bermudian Springs), Sophia Hill (Radnor), Maddy Kelley (Villa Maria), and Grace Iwig (Hempfield (7) have all cleared at least 12-5.

Carlson has established herself as a mid-12-foot vaulter. She has cleared 12-6 in four of her seven competitions and is undefeated this season. She will be a fierce competitor down the stretch and shouldn't feel much pressure until the 12-foot bar.

Maddy Kelley is undoubtedly an interesting competitor. The UNC commit has only vaulted three times this season. Her first vault of the year came on January 27th at the Philly Jumps Climb Winter Invite #1, and she cleared 12-3. She then improved in her next two competitions. She does have a personal best of 13-6.

If she can clear 13-6, she may suddenly be competing for the state title. Again, she's had a slower start to the year, but don't count her out completely.

Podium contenders include Aurora Cieslukowski (Warrior Run), Sara Frey (Kennett), Anna Rank (Elizabethtown), Kate Harnish (Penn Manor) and Kylie Eismann (Lower Dauphin).

The Boys:

Editor Prediction: Risser puts the pieces together and wins with a 16-0 vault.

The Boys Championship could be much more contentious than the girls, with a handful of boys leading the charge.

Breckin Swope (East Pennsboro) is the current state leader at 16-1. He has cleared 16 feet twice in the last two weeks. So, right now, he is flying high. At the PTFCA Indoor Track Carnival, he beat Drake Risser (Lower Dauphin) and Jayden Packer (Shikellamy), both considered contenders. Swope finished third at last year's final.

Risser and Packer have both cleared 15-6 this season. However, Packer hasn't cleared 15-feet since January 17th. Risser, a Clemson commit, has cleared 15-6 in his last two competitions.

Also in the mix is Mason Bucks. The Palmyra vaulter, a Penn State Commit, cleared 15-0 to win the VaultWorX Meet 2 on January 20th. But it is important to note that he hasn't competed since January 28th.

Also, don't count out last year's champion, Logan Gossard (Richland). He has only competed three times this year, but he knows what this stage is like. He does have a 15-6 indoor personal best, and he is more than capable of stealing the moment.

Also keep an eye on Reed Yost (Seneca), Nathan Lutz (Altoona), Tyler Grabinski (Emmaus), Charlie Weber (Indiana) and Brody Weachter (Hempfield).