Raffo finishes record-setting junior year with near PR clearance at nationals

Seneca junior Brittney Raffo finished her junior year Friday with a ninth-place finish in the Emerging Elite pole vault at the New Balance Nationals at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C.

Raffo cleared 11-10 3/4, just 1 1/4 inches off her PR of 12 feet. All that came between her and a top-eight finish was a miss at the opening height of 10-11.

Raffo missed three tries at what would have been a personal-best 12-4 3/4.

But what a year for Raffo, who became only the second South Jersey girl to win the Meet of Champions pole vault and the second South Jersey girl in history to clear 12 feet at the Meet of Champions.

Raffo this year joined another Lenape District vaulter, former national indoor record holder Danielle O’Reilly of Shawnee, as only the second South Jersey vaulter to win the Meet of Champions pole vault since it was added to the state program in 1999. O’Reilly, who cleared 13-5 indoors and 13-3 outdoors, won the vault in 2003 and 2004, both years at 11-6.

The only other South Jersey girl to clear 12 feet at the Meet of Champions was Moorestown’s Jessica Kloss, who went 12-0 for second place in 2005, when she placed second on fewer misses to Kristen Hafford of Warren Hills, who also cleared 12-0.

Let’s check out the all-time South Jersey pole vault list — all vaulters who have cleared a height above 11 feet.

  • 13-  5i … Danielle O’Reilly [Shawnee], 2004
  • 12-  0 … Jessica Kloss [Moorestown], 2005
  • 12-  0 … Brittney Raffo [Seneca], 2017
  • 11-10 … Kaitlin Dermen [Millville], 2014
  • 11-  6 … Lauren Tauscher [Moorestown], 2007
  • 11-  6i … Melissa Gale [Millville], 2006
  • 11-  2 … Tracey Masterson [Mainland Reg.], 2012
  • 11-  1 3/4 … Kristin Weigel [Pennsville], 2010

Raffo’s official PR coming into this season was just 9-0, although she did clear 10 feet in a summer meet. She extended her PR to 11-0 at the Lenape Invitational, then cleared 11-6 at the Lenape District Cup and then 12-0 at both states and Meet of Champs.

She joins Michelle Brown as Seneca’s second Meet of Champions winner. Brown won the 400 in 2008, 2009 and 2010.





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