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Grace Shaffer's pole vault title adds to Cody's vaulting legacy

Grace Shaffer's pole vault title adds to Cody's vaulting legacy

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Grace Shaffer’s state-record pole vault at this past weekend’s Wyoming State High School Track & Field Championships was the latest in a long line of gold medal-winning performance for Cody at state-culminating events.

Cody's Grace Shaffer embraces state-record pole vault victory

Since James Ready won the Class 3A outdoor state championship in 2000, the Broncs and Fillies have won a combined 36 state championships — 25 outdoor and 11 indoor — in the event. Shaffer also holds the state indoor record (12 feet, 6.5 inches) while former Broncs Quinn Rivera set the outdoor mark (16-00.5) in 2012 and Ben Peterson set the indoor standard (16-05) in 2006.

“I’ve been blessed with good athletes that try hard,” Cody pole vault coach Scott Shaffer, who is also Grace’s dad, said. “I’ve also been pretty darned lucky to have athletic directors and an administration that will allow me to do it. At some places the mats get locked up after the state meet until next March, but we still have access to equipment.

“It’s just what we do.”

And Cody has been doing it better than any other program the past 20-plus years. On the boys side, eight different Broncs have won a combined 12 outdoor titles and six indoor. For the girls, seven different Fillies have won 13 outdoor state titles and five indoor.

“We’ve had kids who started in middle school and we’ve had kids who haven’t started until high school,” Shaffer said. “The thing that people don’t get about pole vault is when you try to pole vault, you can’t. It’s impossible to do and you have to break it down into different skills and every kid has a different skill.

“I call it the pole vault gene. There are some kids who just can’t do it.”

Fortunately for Shaffer, there are a lot of kids in Cody who can.

Follow sports editor Jack Nowlin on Twitter @wyovarsity


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Sports editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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