Clearview’s Daniel Couse, Haddonfield’s Alex Hurly, Cinnaminson’s Ed Frey all clear 14-0 at Delsea Crusader Field Meet!!!!!!

Some fantastic pole vaulting Wednesday night at the Delsea Crusader Field Meet, with Clearview junior Daniel Couse, Haddonfield senior Alexander Hurly and Cinnaminson sophomore Ed Frey all clearing 14-0 – the first time for Couse and Frey.

Couse got the win on fewer misses – he actually had no misses through 14-0. Hurly cleared 14-0 on his 2nd attempt and placed 2nd and Frey cleared on his 3rd try and took 3rd.

Most importantly, they are now tied for the No. 2 spot in South Jersey, behind Oakcrest junior Ryan Merlino, who cleared 15-0 at the Atlantic County Championships and won the Cape-Atlantic Meet at Bridgeton Wednesday at 14-0.

Last time three South Jersey vaulters cleared 14-0 in the same meet was the 2019 South Jersey Invitational at Delsea, when five did it – Marco Morales of Delsea [15-6], James Lynch of Deptford [15-0], Nico Morales [15-0], Josh Cohen of Egg Harbor [14-6] and Ryan Jilliard of Delsea [14-0].

In all, the top six placers all PR’d. In addition to Couse, Hurly and Frey, Willingboro junior Jackson Murry cleared 13-6 for 4th, Delsea junior Carlos Reyes 13-0 for 5th and Delsea junior Carlos Reyes 12-6 for 6th. In all, Delsea had five underclassmen over at least 11-6.

One other note about Murry: He’s the first Willingboro vaulter over 13-6 since Marv Forchion cleared 14-6 in 1986. Forchion was a unique athlete – at 1986 state Group 3 meet, he won the pole vault [14-6] and placed 3rd in the long jump [21-8] and he also took 4th at sectionals in the 110 hurdles [14.9h].

Let’s take a look at each vaulter:

Daniel Couse: Tied a 51-year-old Clearview pole vault record and moved into the No. 2 spot among New Jersey juniors with his first lifetime 14-0 clearance.

Couse now shares the school record with Ed Cundey, who cleared 14-0 at the 1972 Easterns on Randall’s Island. Cundey placed 3rd on more misses than 2nd-place Mark MacCracken of Tenafly, who also cleared 14-0.

Couse’s improvement has been remarkable. His best jump last spring was 11-6 and then he cleared 12-0 for the first time at Group 3 sectionals at the Bubble in February – just three months ago.

But he PR’d at 13-0 earlier this month when he won the Gloucester County meet at Deptford two weeks ago and then improved to 13-6 in his next meet, the Tri-County Championships at Delsea last week.

Couse passed until 12-0 Wednesday night, cleared that on his first try, then passed 12-6 before clearing 13-0, 13-6 and 14-0 on his first attempts.

Alexander Hurly: Another one who’s made very quick improvement. Hurly cleared 12-0 once last spring in his first year of track, didn’t compete indoors, then PR’d at 12-6 in late April before suddenly clearing 14-0 when he won the Camden County meet at Haddon Township two weeks ago.

Haddonfield has a rich pole vaulting history, with four 15-footers – Mike Davis [15-5 in 2004], Devon Purves [15-5 in 2006], Mark Murphy [15-0 in 1985] and Mike Rivard [15-0 in 2010]. But Hurly is Haddonfield’s first 14-footer since Rivard 13 years ago.

Hurly passed to 12-6 Wednesday, cleared that on his 2nd attempt, then was clean at 13-0 and 13-6 before clearing 14-0 on his 2nd try.

Ed Frey: Another monster PR, Frey’s previous best was a 13-0 earlier this month at the South Jersey Elite meet at Delsea.

Frey cleared 12-6 as a freshman last spring at South Jersey Group 2 sectionals at Delsea, like Hurly he didn’t compete indoors, and he’s now the No. 2 sophomore in New Jersey, a quarter of an inch behind Cade Zeolla of West Morris Central, who cleared 14-0 ¼ earlier this month at a meet in Rockaway Borough.

Frey is only the 3rd South Jersey sophomore I could find who’s cleared 14-0. Eddie Zubryzcki of Highland went 14-0 at the 2007 Meet of Champions at South Plainfield, and Nico Morales of Delsea hit 14-10 at the 2018 Tri-County Conference meet at Delsea. There may have been a few others back in the day.

(One thing you’ll notice reading this post is that almost all big-time vaults in South Jersey occur at Delsea!)

Cinnaminson’s school record is 15-0 by Matt Mancini from the 2006 South Jersey Group 2 meet at Buena. Frey is the first Burlington County vaulter to clear 14-0 since 2017, when Mitchell Casey of Shawnee cleared 14-6 at the Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington.


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