E.A. Sports Today

WP’s Moore second

Junior pole vaulter jumps 13-6, finishes second in state, plans to use it as motivation to go higher as a senior

By East Alabama Sports Today

GULF SHORES – For Matthew Moore, failure is not an option.

The White Plains junior may not have won the Class 4A pole vault Thursday at the state track championships here, but it has inspired him even further for next year.

Moore cleared 13-feet, 6-inches and finished second in the event to Walker Junkin of Winfield City. Junkin won at 14-7 and missed three attempts at 15 feet.

“I don’t fail,” Moore said. “I might not succeed, but if I don’t win like I want to I will train and I will work and I will push my body to make it stronger and come back next year and be bigger and better than this year.

“I might not have succeeded, but it only pushes me to be a better vaulter later on.”

Moore didn’t enter the fray until the bar was 11-6 and he didn’t scratch through 13 feet; he actually held the lead at one point due to fewer scratches. Junkin made the height and they continued the battle.

They both cleared 13-6 and went straight to a showdown at 14 feet. Junkin made it on his first attempt. Moore got over the bar on his first attempt, but it came loose on the way down. He missed on his second attempt and ran through on the third for a scratch.

Junkin went on to clear 14-7, then missed three times at 15.

“I wasn’t disappointed with the place, I was more disappointed with the way I finished my junior year at state,” Moore said. “I had multiple really good jumps, it just didn’t come at the right time.”

He has a history of bouncing back when he puts his mind to things.

“Last year at state my goal was to get on the podium,” he said. “I was going for third place – that was fine for me. I thought I had it, but I missed by a scratch at one height. I told myself third place was not an option next (this) year. I was going for first. I trained a lot harder this year and took more jumped and actually injured myself from doing that. I learned from that, too.”

This was his only event at this year’s state meeting. Now he goes from pole vaulter to pole vault coach, helping Savannah Yates find a spot on the podium in the girls pole vault Friday.

Three other local athletes scored for their teams during Thursday’s first day. Oxford’s Haley Dempsey, who won the Calhoun County title with her first-ever competitive throw in her event, finished seventh in girls 6A javelin (100-01); Saks’ Sa’Nya Fleming finished fourth in the girls 4A triple jump (33-9.5) and Munford’s Jakari Robinson finished third in the 4A boys discus (138-04).

The Class 4A-7A meet continues Friday. The Class 1A-3A meet begins Friday in Cullman.

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