Kaitlyln Dermen graduated a few years ago from Stockton, where she was an All-America pole vaulter, but she hasn’t stopped competing. And she hasn’t stopped improving.
Dermen, a Millville graduate, had a collegiate PR of 12-7 ½ from the 2017 NCAA Division 3 Championships in Alliance, Ohio, where she placed 9th, and an indoor PR of 12-1 ½ from a meet in February of 2018 at Ocean Breeze.
Since graduating in the spring of 2018, Dermen has competed intermittently, and last spring, competing unattatched at a meet at Rider, she cleared 12-9 ½ for an outdoor PR.
This indoor season, she’s taken her vaulting to another level.
In her indoor opener at Ocean Breeze in December, Dermen cleared 13-7 ¼ – an indoor PR of about a foot and a half and a lifetime best by nearly a foot.
That puts her at No. 62 on the 2022 U.S. indoor performance list.
She backed that up with a 13-5 clearance earlier this month in a meet at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and then this past weekend at Ocean Breeze she cleared 13-6, just off two-week-old PR.
I think but am not sure that Dermen’s 13-7 ¼ moves her into the No. 2 spot in South Jersey alumni history and just 5 1/2 inches from the record.
Shawnee graduate Stephanie Maugham cleared 14-0 ¾ outdoors in Fresno, Calif., in April of 2002 and 13-10 ½ indoors in Reno, Nev., in February of 2002. Maugham was a hurdler and high jumper at Shawnee but picked up the pole vault in college at Rhode Island and was 2000 Penn Relays champ.
Another Shawnee graduate, Danielle O’Reilly, set the national indoor high school record of 13-5 at the Armory in 2004. Her lifetime best outdoors was 13-1 ½ in Fayetteville in 2005.
Current Villanova junior and graduate Ashley Preston has PRs of 13-3 ¾ outdoors from last spring at Franklin Field and 13-3 ½ from 2020 when she won Big East at SPIRE Insitute in Geneva, Ohio.
Moorestown graduate Jessica Kloss just missed the 13-foot barrier while she was at Princeton, clearing 12-11 ½ both indoors and outdoors in 2009 [in Cambridge, Mass., indoors, and in Princeton outdoors].
Any other South Jersey women who’ve been over the bar at 13 feet or higher? Let me know!