Natrona County’s Kavin Hoff sets freshman pole vault record in Friday’s meet | Sports

April 23—Natrona County pole vaulter Kavin Hoff had a memorable week.

On Tuesday, the freshman cleared 12-foot-9 to set a personal best and win the NC/KW Dual. Turns out Hoff was just getting started. At NC Invite on Friday, Hoff erased 13-06.5 to set a freshman Mustang record.

“I reset the freshman record and the sophomore record is 12-6,” Hoff said. “The away school record is 14-6, so I’m hoping to go there.”

Hoff’s mark is second-best in Class 4A this season behind Sheridan’s Ryan Karajanis, who cleared 15 feet at the Broomfield (Colorado) Shootout on March 26.

Hoff thinks he’s just starting to warm up.

“Last year I was 11-6,” he said. “It’s pretty good, but I knew I could do better. I think I’m just going to push until I can’t do it anymore.”

Hoff attributes his recent surge to a change in his equipment. He went from a 13’0″ 170 pole to a 14’3″ 160 pole last week.

“Bigger pole, bigger heights,” Hoff explained. “I always believed in going big or going home.”

In Friday’s encounter, the 21-person pole vault field had been reduced to two – Hoff and Kelly Walsh senior Drew Rasmussen – when the bar was raised to 12-04. Both cleared the pitch, with Rasmussen breaking his previous personal best of 11-11. It was Hoff’s step after that, though.

As athletes and fans seated around the pole vault cheered rhythmically in unison, Hoff stepped up and cleared the bar 13 feet on his second attempt. The bar was raised to 13-06.5 and Hoff cleared the bar again on his second attempt. Landing on the pad, he turned to the grateful crowd, crossed his fingers behind his head and had a shocked look on his face.

He failed on all three attempts at 13-09, but he was still smiling as he accepted congratulations from his teammates and other competitors.

“Coming into the season, I wanted the freshman record and I got it,” Hoff said. “Now my goal is to get over 18 (feet) by the end of my senior year. I think that’s a good goal.”

It would also be a record goal. Quinn Rivera of Cody set the state record of 16-00.5 in 2012 while Justin Gebicki of Cheyenne East set the 4A record of 16-00.25 in 2008.

“I just have to keep training and trusting the process,” Hoff said. “Because the higher you go, the more fun it is.”

Gose sets school record

Last year, Lander’s Gage Gose was an integral part of the Tigers winning the Class 3A state title for the first time since 2005. Gose was third in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles and ran a leg over the team from 4×400 relay for the Tigers who ranked third.

Gose has bigger goals in mind this season.

“Last year I had a pretty good season for my freshman year,” Gose said. “I was getting closer to school records, so I made that my goals for this season.”

He ticked one off his list on Friday, winning the 300 hurdles with a time of 39.28 seconds. The Lander school record was 39.84. Earlier in the day he set a personal best in the 110 hurdles (14.93) but finished second to Natrona County’s Mason Weickum (14.82).

The two were neck and neck in the 300 until Weickum crashed out mid-race.

“I’m happy with my two races,” admitted Gose. “I really wanted to win the 300 hurdles so I got out fast. Mason had stayed with me and then I saw something happen on that sixth hurdle but I just had to keep running because I wanted the record for the school.”

Gose also teamed with Matisse Weaver, Aidan Russell and Caynen Brown to win the 4×400.

Double Trouble

Kelly Walsh’s Finley Klinger and Natrona County’s Alesha Lane both won two events on Friday.

Klinger held off NC’s Ally Wheeler to finish first in the 800 meters and ran off the field to win the 1600.

Lane, the reigning state discus champion, won both throwing events. The New Mexico State signee went 38-08 in the shot put and 140-05 in the discus.

Notable

The Kelly Walsh girls held off Natrona County, 196-193, to win the team title while the NC boys won eight individual titles – by eight different athletes – and the 1600 medley sprint to finish with 250 points. KW was far behind with 123 points.

Kelly Walsh senior, the reigning state shot put champion, shot a season best 57-03.5 to win the event.

Dubois senior Cody Wright won the triple jump with a 41-05 jump.

Led by Lane’s two gold medals in the throwing events, the fillies won all six field events.

Follow sportswriter Jack Nowlin on Twitter @wyovarsity


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