Vaughn equals top high jump mark in state

Oak Ridge junior clears the bar at 5'9"
By: Matt Long
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Sarah Vaughn capped off an outstanding month of April with a good start to May, as she was Oak Ridge’s lone winner at the Sacramento Meet of Champions on Saturday. Vaughn, a 5-foot, 10-inch junior, won the high jump with a leap of 5’5” on Saturday, which was her personal-best jump prior to three days earlier. In a dual meet against Cordova on April 29, Vaughn cleared the bar at 5’9”, tied for the best leap in the state this year with last year’s state champ, Tara Richmond of Long Beach Poly. “It was my personal-best jump by four inches,” Vaughn said. “My goal was 5’6, but I made that and then I made 5’7”, 5’8” and then 5’9”. I was pretty proud of how I did.” Vaughn set her personal-best mark of 5’6” on her third attempt and then cleared the bar at 5’7” and 5’8” on her first try. It took her two tries at 5’9” before she successfully cleared it. “I was just visualizing what I look like throughout my whole jump and saw myself clearing the bar,” Vaughn said, as she talked about her pre-jump routine. “I think I cleared the bar pretty good, because I know I didn’t make it move.” Vaughn went on and almost jumped 5’10” in her first attempt, before missing two more times. On Saturday, Vaughn didn’t jump as high, but still won the meet in a much more competitive setting and also had two good attempts at 5’7”. Oak Ridge coach Rob Fairley was also proud of her performance. “Sarah saw after her first year last year that she had potential,” Fairley said. “She put more offseason training in and started this year where she left off last year. She’s really worked hard and has a great attitude and demeanor about herself and had a really great month of April. When you’re that tall and blessed with vertical jumping ability and have the attitude and temperament that she has, you’ve got a shot at winning a lot of meets.” Vaughn won the Arcadia Invitational, Woody Wilson Invitational and now the Sacramento Meet of Champions with leaps of 5’5”. Her jump of 5’9” is only two inches shy of Richmond’s state winning jump a year ago. After not making it out of Masters last year as a sophomore, Vaughn has set her goals higher this year. “I want to go to state and place,” Vaughn said. “I’d like to jump 5’10” because I know that almost won it last year. Next year as a senior, I’d like to jump 6’0”.” Oak Ridge had 24 athletes compete at the Meet of Champions. While Vaughn was the team’s only winner, there were other strong performances in the invitational part of the meet. Brittney Putman and Hayley Scott both earned third-place finishes in the 3,200 and 800 meters runs, respectively. Putman posted her personal-best time by 17 seconds, completing the race in 11 minutes, 7.07 seconds, while Scott also ran a personal-best time of 2:15.44 in the 800. Amjed Aboukhadijeh posted his best time in placing fourth in the 3,200 in 9:23.3, while Samantha Ralstin, competing in the 1,600, placed sixth with a personal-best time of 5:06.77. Timery Mueller placed seventh in the long jump (16’ 3/5”), while LeeAnn Hold finished 10th in the 3,200 in 11:27.16. The girls’ 4x400-meter relay team of Aislynn Mueller, Ralstin, Holli Arrieta and Scott also placed seventh in 4:01.01. Jenna Yowell also competed in the pole vault but failed to record a height. In the open session, Aislynn Mueller took third in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.10 and was sixth in the 300-meter hurdles (47.20). Brian Hanson also had a top-three finish, as he took third in the pole vault with a vault of 14’2”, a personal-best by two inches. Other top-10 finishers included Matt Redden (fourth, high jump, 5’10”), Maxine Goyette (sixth, 1,600, 5:18.94), Alex Hoffman (seventh, pole vault, 13’8”), Benji Xie (eighth, 3,200, 9:35.66), Jackie Mansoor (eighth, 1,600, 5:19.14), Marcus Friend (ninth, 300 hurdles, 41.10), Jessica Emde (ninth, long jump 15’11”), Abby Walker (10th, 800, 2:21.20) and Clay McNamee (10th, 3,200, 10:05.33). Other participants in the open session included Zach Speno (12th, 3,200, 10:09.65), Parker Prestegard (15th, 3,200, 10:13.28), Robin Yancey (16th, 3,200, 12:03.95) and Nick Herhusky (16th, 1,600, 4:45.44). Oak Ridge’s final league meet is Wednesday against Ponderosa beginning at 3:30 p.m.