Vault newcomers lead Jessieville to conference victory

JESSIEVILLE — Neither of the first two finalists in the 3A-5 Conference Athletics meet in Jessieville had competed in the pole vault before this season, but Jessieville sophomore Lavinia Gossow and senior Annabel Robertson both cleared 7-foot-6 to take the top two in the event and advance to next week’s Class 3A State Meeting in Lincoln.

Gossow, a foreign student from Germany, won the event, setting a personal best one foot taller than she had before Thursday’s competition.

“I can’t even believe it,” she said. “Like my practices, they were good, but I didn’t think I would improve that much. Well, I’m shocked and really happy that I managed to declare and PRed.”

Before coming to Garland County in August, she had never competed in track and field.

“It feels good, and I’m not even from here,” she said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this. For example, I’ve never done track competitions before, so I’m really excited about it. And I’m looking forward to it.”

Even more surprising to Gossow, he beat the teammate she looked up to at the event.

“It was really surprising, honestly, because I still look up to Annabel. … I still see what she’s doing, and I’d like to watch her to improve myself,” she said. “And today I beat her – it felt like I felt good and it feels good. And like that, it shows me that I’ve improved.”

More than half an hour after the teammates collected 18 points for the Lady Lions, Robertson was still shocked to see her senior season end in such spectacular fashion.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I am, I am literally, I don’t even know the word. But, you know, I didn’t, I never thought I’d go this far. … And now it’s just I mean, we both started this year. I actually signed (to compete in the pole vault) today with SAU, and I never thought I’d go too away. I didn’t.

Robertson decided before the season that she would attempt the event after several teammates who competed in field events graduated.

“If I had known, you know, the start of the season I would have said, I just wish I had done it longer because I mean, I could have been like this, I could have been so good , if I had done longer,” she said. “But now that I’m with the Muleriders, I know I’m going to keep improving. But I’m so, I’m so happy that we’re both going (to the state meet) together. ‘primary objective. “

The win and second-place finish helped propel the Lady Lions to a dominating victory in the conference meet, despite the absence of top runner Juliah Rodgers. Jessieville scored 288.5 points, with Lamar finishing second at 103.5 and Dover third at 88.

“Julia has about 30 points,” Jessieville girls’ coach Magen Scrivner said. “So, you know, I was just trying to put people where I felt they needed to be to try and get the most points, but we had some kids who are really, really stepped up today. I so I’m super excited about it.”

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Gossow and Robertson will be at more than one event next week in Lincoln.

With the first two finishes in each state-qualified event, Gossow will compete in the 100-meter hurdles, 4×200-meter relay and 4×100-meter relay, and Robertson will run the 100-meter and in the 4×100-meter relay.

“These two are hard workers,” Scrivner said. “You know, Annabel signed a letter of intent today to go jumping at SAU, and that’s one thing I talked about her today is her work ethic and commitment. I also coach her in basketball and I’m the last five, and her senior year this year, she hasn’t missed a single practice in track and field or basketball. a lot about his leadership and character. But I’m ready for these two to make some noise as is in the jump.”

Gossow also won the girls’ highlight award during the competition.

“She’s an exchange student from Germany,” Scrivner said. “And we’ve been so lucky to have her this year. She works so hard every day. She doesn’t really know much about the track, but we’ve taught her a lot in two months. So yeah, that’s a blessing to have this year for sure.”

The Lions also picked up a major victory in the encounter, scoring 297.5 points while Lamar finished second with 131.17. Mayflower finished third at 95.33.

“We had some PR,” Jessieville boys coach TJ Burk said. “We had guys who put in performances that we really needed, and that gives us a chance (for a state title). So, you know, it’s really worked all year, that’s from us. give it a chance. I just have to go play at the state reunion next week.”

With one of the best track teams the school has seen in years, Burk said his seniors helped make the program a state contender.

“We have youngsters who have performed well throughout the year,” he said. “And it’s a testament to those seniors who have worked, and they’ve shown what it takes to be, you know, at the top of our game. And so they’ve set the bar high and those young guys have come and , you know, they they, they know what the norm is. And so that’s kind of how you make a program. … I mean, it’s just a combination of over the years. There’s had a set of standards here, and our kids live up to that standard, and they run really hard.”