Andover Central’s Barkdull breaks own state pole vault record

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A year ago, Andover Central’s Bryce Barkdull, who was a junior, beat his older brother’s state record in the pole vault to win his first state championship. Friday morning, he was back at Cessna Stadium, looking to top his own state record.

KSN has been following Barkdull for over a year now, watching him win national competitions and break state records over the last few weeks.

Before the start of the 5A pole vault finals, Barkdull told a few of his competitors his goal was to vault 17 feet 2 inches. One inch higher than the state record he established last year.

The senior, who signed with the University of Kansas earlier this year, broke the KU Relays record and established a new personal record (PR) with a clearance of 17 feet 7 inches.

“I’d say the Shawnee Mission Relays and Kansas Relays really are a bunch of my favorites. That’s where I see all of my buddies from up in Kansas City,” said Barkdull

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Then, just a few weeks ago, Barkdull shocked himself by clearing 17 feet 9 inches at a meet in Salina. Another new PR and the best pole vault in the nation this year.

“We did our senior prank the night before. I was up all night. And then we had to get up early for some senior graduation stuff. So, I just put together what I thought would be an OK jump day. I tried to make some bars, and we ended up keep going up to 17 [feet] 2 [inches] on my second attempt. Really unexpected on that pole. I’ve only made 17 [feet] 2 [inches] on that pole before, so that was a new pole PR,” said Barkdull

Last week, Barkdull won regionals and just barely missed on three attempts at 18 feet. That brings us to the state championships. Barkdull entered the competition at 16 feet.

With his father, a former all-American pole vaulter at Wichita State University, right there, Barkdull cleared 16 feet 6 inches.

Now, he was the only one left in the competition. He asked for the bar to be raised to 17 [feet] 2 [inches] to break his own state record, and he did it.

However, Barkdull was unable to break his PR when he came up short on three attempts at 18 feet.

“I’ve been having some knee issues. Just trying to decide. My dad and I just trying to close to the end of the year,” said Barkdull

Barkdull stood at the top of the medal stand with another gold medal around his neck, but he walked away from his last high school event a little disappointed.

“Yeah. It wasn’t exactly what I was wanting. But a state record is very … it’s a very good day,” said Barkdull.

Barkdull will join his older brother Ashton on the KU pole vault team next fall. He also mentioned he doesn’t expect his state record to last very long. He says Andover Central has a sophomore coming up who has a chance to take away his title.

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