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In the last 10 years of Sedona Red Rock High track and field teams, the Scorpions have always put out a competitive product whether it was in regional competition or even state competition but there was always something missing like a long-lost dog.

Well this year, that long-lost dog was found as a big 18-wheel truck pulled up in the beginning of February to the football field and laid out all the components the Scorpions would need to compete in the pole vault event, something these Sedona athletes have never experienced or even tried before.

“It’s a frustrating event but I’m glad we finally have the opportunity to do it at this school,” sophomore pole vaulter Stephanie McIlroy said.

By Brian Bergner Jr.

Larson Newspapers

In the last 10 years of Sedona Red Rock High track and field teams, the Scorpions have always put out a competitive product whether it was in regional competition or even state competition but there was always something missing like a long-lost dog.

Well this year, that long-lost dog was found as a big 18-wheel truck pulled up in the beginning of February to the football field and laid out all the components the Scorpions would need to compete in the pole vault event, something these Sedona athletes have never experienced or even tried before.

“It’s a frustrating event but I’m glad we finally have the opportunity to do it at this school,” sophomore pole vaulter Stephanie McIlroy said.

Twelve years ago, it is believed, the Scorpions had a pole vault team when the school first started the track and field program but the only evidence are old and dusty pole vault mats that are in a dark storage container on the field.

Nonetheless, over the past 10 years, eight of which under the tutelage of head coach Harry Schneider, Sedona has found themselves down 28 points at every meet they’ve competed in.

“It’s like coach Schneider said, this is the most difficult track and field event there is but we are getting better every day and will continue to improve,” sophomore pole vaulter James DeVore said.

Not only is it a difficult event to learn and master, but it’s expensive too. Schneider and his team had to raise more than $10,000 just to get the equipment.

“This event will now increase our chances of winning a regional and state championship. Now it’s up to us,” sophomore pole vaulter Jesus Rivera said.

In region and state, the top four placers are awarded points with first place getting 10, second getting eight, third getting six and fourth getting four points.

Even though it’s hard to compete when the team is down 28 points before they even get their uniforms on, Schneider said his team still goes out there knowing they can win many other events, but now things are definitely different.

“This is an awesome event. It seems easy at first but there is so many coordinated movements that if one thing goes wrong it messes you up,” junior pole vaulter Chris Lloyd said.

In 2007, the point differential didn’t stop a motivated girls track team who went on to win the 3A state track and field championship.

Previous years on the boys and girls side of competition, Sedona has come close a few times to hanging a regional championship banner only to fall short because of the pole vault event not being available to the athletes.

This year however, Schneider believes his team will have a leg-up on the competition but he stresses that these kids are still learning the event.

“It’s going to take time to learn just like any other thing worth doing,” Schneider said.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, Ext. 131, or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


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