Up, Up and Away

Garrett fifth at state with 10-0 vault

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 12, 2008 - AUSTIN - Saturday turned out to be a good day to vault. In fact, for Como-Pickton's Deana Garrett, it was the best day.

Garrett cleared a personal best of 10 feet in the Class 2A pole vault, placing her fifth at the UIL State Track and Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus.

Garrett set her goal to clear 10-0, and she did it on her first attempt.

"I was just excited, and there wasn't much pressure on me today," she explained. "I just felt so good, like today was my day to vault."

Garrett started the competition by clearing the opening height of 8-6 on her first attempt. She also cleared 9-0 and 9-6 easily on her initial vault at each height.

When she was successful at 9-6, she assured herself of placing better than she did last year, when she was eighth at the state meet. After she cleared 10-0, two other vaulters went out at the same height, giving Garrett fifth place.

She missed all three attempts at 10-6, but it turned out that it might not have mattered anyway in terms of how high she would place, because the remaining four vaulters all cleared not only 10-6 but also 10-9. The top two vaulters - gold medalist Madison Gattis of Hawkins and silver medalist Amy Rabalais of George West - each notched 11-3.

Garrett went into the state meet with the seventh-best qualifying height (9-9), so moving up two places was a convincing showing.

"I felt like I hadn't had a good year as far as height goes, so I was feeling not very confident," she said. "But, today is so much better. All the pressure was off because you can't get any lower than eighth place at state.

"I'm very excited with what I did, and I know that I'm going to go higher next year. It's an amazing feeling that I can't describe."

NOTES: Mount Vernon hurdler Aquayas Rockwell placed second in the Class 3A boys 110-meter high hurdles in a time of 14.64 seconds. ... Another Mount Vernon athlete, Whitney Hargraves, took fourth in the girls triple jump with a leap of 37 feet, 4 1/4 inches.

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