Unraveling a girls pole vault mystery and the all-time S.J. outdoor girls P.V. top-50!!!

Most track fans know all about Shawnee’s Danielle O’Reilly, who set a national high school indoor pole vault record in 2004. O’Reilly jumped 13-5 indoors and 13-3 outdoors. O’Reilly still holds the state indoor record and the South Jersey outdoor record.

We’ll be writing all about her when we get to the girls indoor records at some point this summer.

But what about the pole vault in South Jersey before Danielle O’Reilly?

The all-time top-50 doesn’t show any marks before 2004. So whose South Jersey did she break?

We decided to find out!

It turns out the previous South Jersey record was held by Kate Gormley of Pennsville. She jumped 8-10 3/4 at the 1999 Penn Relays, breaking the South Jersey mark of 8-8 3/4 set two years earlier at Penn by Absegami’s Wendy Blankenship. Back then, Penn was one of the few major in-season meets that held a girls pole vault, and Gormley and Blankenship both competed during the season in boys dual meets.

Gormley went on to clear 10-0 that spring at the Meet of Champions, where the pole vault was held as an exhibition event. That stood as the South Jersey record until O’Reilly came along.

O’Reilly tied Gormley’s South Jersey record several times as a freshman in the spring of 2001. As a sophomore, her first major meet was Penn, where she cleared 11-4, which would have been a South Jersey record, but because of rain the vault was moved indoors that year and held at the Hollenbeck Center Annex, so her 11-4 didn’t count for record purposes. You can’t set an outdoor record indoors.

She then cleared 11-0 at the Burlington County Open at Maple Shade, which gave her the South Jersey record outright for the first time. She improved to 11-6 at the Meet of Champions and then PR’d with a 13-3 her senior year at the Olympic Conference Championships at Pennsauken.

The closest anybody has gotten to O’Reilly in the past 16 years is Delesa’s Ashley Preston, who cleared 12-7 1/2 in 2018 and is now starring at Villanova, where she’s won three Big East titles in three tries.

All-Time S.J. Outdoor Girls Pole Vault Top 50

13- 3… Danielle O’Reilly [Shawnee], 2004
12- 7 1/2 … Ashley Preston [Delsea], 2018
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- 4 … Melissa Gale [Millville], 2006
11- 3 … Jennifer Scott [Haddonfield], 2019
11- 2 … Tracey Masterson [Mainland Reg.], 2012
11- 1 3/4 … Kristin Weigel [Pennsville], 2010
11- 0 1/2 … Emily Waldron [Triton], 2014
11- 0 … Colleen McDowell [Seneca], 2011
11- 0 … Alexandra Elder [Moorestown], 2012
11- 0 … Casey Sturts [Buena], 2013
11- 0 … Alana Cohen [Cherry Hill East], 2018
11- 0 … Lindsey Michie [Northern Burlington], 2018
11- 0 … Sarah Parr [Audubon], 2019
11- 0 … Anna Heim [Moorestown], 2006
11- 0 … Allyson Brooks [Moorestown], 2007
11- 0 … Katherine Gray [Triton], 2010
11- 0 … Elizabeth Douglas [West Deptford], 2015
11- 0 … Christina Kursewicz [Clearview], 2012
11- 0 … Elissa Ingram [Kingsway], 2011
10-10 … Miranda Roberts [Washington Twp.], 2012
10-10 … Katie Selfridge [Delsea], 2014
10- 9 … Lexi Brown [Delsea], 2013
10- 7 … Kriten Visconti [Cherokee], 2014
10- 7 … Lori Stratton [Sterling], 2017
10- 6 … Alexandra Decredico [Ocean City], 2017
10- 6 … Claudia Theriault [West Deptford], 2013
10- 6 … Shannon Storms [Lenape], 2016
10- 6 … Paula Arellano [Winslow Twp.], 2017
10- 6 … Cassie Hoxit [Lenape], 2017
10- 6 … Stephanie Maines [Moorestown], 2018
10- 6 … Payton Silar [Moorestown], 2019
10- 6 … Julia Greeley [Seneca], 2019
10- 6 … Abby Boggs [Rancocas Valley], 2019
10- 6 … Kaitllyn Smith [Gateway], 2019
10- 6 … Allison Fechter [Haddonfield], 2017
10- 6 … Christina Lees [Sterling], 2010
10- 6 … Erin Gray [Kingsway], 2017
10- 6 … Abby Pharo [Penns Grove], 2018
10- 6 … Meredith Reese [Haddonfield], 2009
10- 6 … Lauren Taylor [Cherokee], 2009
10- 6 … Carissa Santora [Mainland Reg.], 2009
10- 6 … Lisa Martin [Mainland Reg.], 2006
10- 3 … Brook Whitmore [Triton], 2012
10- 2 … Alexis Gligor [Woodbury], 2011
10- 2 … Rachel Ondricek [Pennsville], 2016
10- 1 … Taylor Clark [Cinnaminson], 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s