Stephenville High School has a contender at the UIL track and field state meet in pole vaulting. Jon Clark Giddings took second at regionals last Friday with a personal best vault at 14 feet, 6 inches.
“It was a little tough,” he said about making the vault at the regional meet. “There were probably three or four of us that made over 14 feet. I knew probably 14-6 was going to get second and qualify. I made it on my last attempt, I was the last to go so it was pretty cool.”
Not only did he set a personal record, he did so with a minor quad injury. Giddings said his quad cramped up on him while he was running in the 100 meter at the district track meet and it continued to bother him while he was pole vaulting at regionals.
Coach Casey Hamilton is the varsity pole vaulting coach and said that due to the injury, Giddings hasn’t practiced much the past month.
“We haven’t done anything,” Hamilton said, “we’re just trying to get him healthy. It’s been a month without practice.”
But that didn’t keep Giddings from qualifying for state.
“It’s a great accomplishment for him,” Hamilton said. “He’s a fierce competitor.”
Hamilton said Giddings has been working toward this moment since the seventh grade.
“I’m excited to represent my school and I’m going to try to do as good as I can,” said Giddings. “I’m going to try to jump 15-6. I just want to set a new PR and see where it places, let the other guys worry about themselves.”
Giddings trains at an indoor complex in Hico with his coaches.
He will head to Austin for the state meet on the same day he is going to prom. He said he competes during the day and prom is a little later so he still plans to attend the formal dance.
Inspired by one of his father’s good friends who pole vaulted in college, Giddings has been pole vaulting since the seventh grade, which happens to be the same year he and his family moved to Stephenville from San Antonio.
“Shout out to my club coach Troy Hunt, my school coach Casey Hamilton, and to the athletic trainers,” Giddings added.