Hanson's Gross wins pole vault
SIOUX FALLS -- Andrew Gross finally got his state title. For the last three years, the Hanson senior has had the top height coming into the Class B state meet in the pole vault. Each year, Gross has failed to win the event, but still placed in th...
SIOUX FALLS -- Andrew Gross finally got his state title.
For the last three years, the Hanson senior has had the top height coming into the Class B state meet in the pole vault. Each year, Gross has failed to win the event, but still placed in the top three.
Once again, Gross had the top height going into the state meet at 13-feet-3, which was three inches higher than Menno's Tyler Handel.
But unlike the previous three years, Gross was the one standing at the top of the podium Friday after he was the only vaulter to clear 13-feet at Howard Wood Stadium in Sioux Falls.
Because of where he placed the last few years, finishing first caught Gross a bit off-guard, he said.
"The last three years I have finished second or third, so it was kind of a big surprise," he said. "It feels better than anything, actually."
Gross is not the only one in his family to win a pole vault title this week. His sister, Brigitte, won the event at the NAIA National Outdoor Championships Thursday for the University of Sioux Falls.
Andrew Gross' title did not come easy, either. Before he was scheduled to compete in the pole vault, he ran in the 400-meter dash.
Gross said it took a little bit to recover.
"I came back from running the 400 and I felt dizzy and lightheaded," he said. "I came over and it took me three jumps for my first (height), three jumps for my second (height) and I think I finally recuperated and made my next height on the first try.
"I thought then maybe I could do something here."
The first height Gross attempted was 11-feet-6. Then, 12-feet was the second height and 12-feet-6 was the third height. After Gross cleared 13-feet, he attempted 13-feet-6 inches, but was unable to get past the mark.
Gross came close on his first attempt, he said.
"I was real close on my first attempt and I think I hit it on the way down," Gross said. "I think a few inches and I would've gotten it. I had the adrenaline rush on the first jump from making 13 (feet), so I was coming off a high. The last two, I just wanted to see what I could do."
Menno senior Tyler Handel finished in fourth place with a height of 12-feet-6.
Handel's teammate, junior Ben Fischer, finished in seventh at 11-feet-6.