Oakcrest’s Ryan Merlino smashes 32-year-old Atlantic County pole vault record at Boston Indoor Nationals!!!!!!

Oakcrest junior Ryan Merlino broke a 32-year-old county record with a 14-9 clearance at Boston Indoor Nationals Saturday in Brighton, Mass.

That’s No. 11 in South Jersey history.

Merlino broke the Atlantic County mark of 14-6 ¼ set in 1991 by Absegami’s Brandon Kurtz.

Merlino placed 3rd in the Rising Stars division of the pole vault and added three inches to his PR of 14-6, which he set at the Meet of Champions a week earlier at Ocean Breeze.

Merlino was one of three vaulters to clear 14-9 but placed 3rd because he had more misses at earlier heights than the two others, Jason Olivera Jr. of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Tyler Cash of Allatoona High in Acworth, Ga.

After clearing opening height of 13-3 ½ on his second attempt, 13-9 ¼ on his third try and 14-3 ¼ on his second, Merlino was one of six vaulters still alive with the bar moving up to 14-9 in the metric progression.

All six missed their first two attempts, and Olivera, Cash and Merlino cleared on their third try. All three then missed three attempts at 15-1.

The meet capped a tremendous junior year for Merlino, the top underclassman in New Jersey and only the third South Jersey underclassman ever to clear 14-9 or higher, following Nico (15-6) and Marco (15-0) Morales of Delsea in 2019.

All-Time South Jersey Indoor Pole Vault List
16-0 … Marco Morales [Delsea], 2020
15-6 … Dan Batdorf [West Deptford], 2008
15-6 … Nico Morales [Delsea], 2019
15-1 … Dylan Altland [Kinsgway], 2014
15-0 ¼ … Devon Purves [Haddonfield], 2006
15-0 … Mark Murphy [Haddonfield], 1985
15-0 … Mike Davis [Haddonfield], 2004
15-0 … Mike Rivard [Haddonfield], 2009
15-0 … Noah Kriesman [Cherry Hill East], 2021
14-11 ¼ … Tom Jeffers [Triton], 2011
14-9 … Ryan Merlino [Oakcrest], 2023
14-7 … Brian Banks [Eastern], 2011
14-6 ¼ … Brandon Kurtz [Absegami], 1991
14-6 … Mike Maira [Seneca], 2009
14-6 … Michael Oberg [Ocean City],
14-6 … Jarrod Brovero [Delsea], 2016
14-6 … Kyle Loveland [Moorestown], 2016


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