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Lake Hamilton vaulter focuses on state record

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Photographs by Grace Brown

Lake Hamilton’s Haze Farmer won the boys pole vault at Saturday’s Meet of Champs at Lake Hamilton High School, clearing 16 feet, 8 inches.

PEARCY -- Haze Farmer put Lake Hamilton back on top in the Meet of Champs boys pole vault.

The junior cleared 16 feet, 8 inches to win the pole vault Saturday in the 61st annual Meet of Champs at Wolf Stadium on the Lake Hamilton campus.

Farmer, this year's Class 6A state champion in the pole vault, was the first Lake Hamilton vaulter to win at the Meet of Champs since Nick Johnson in 2015. Zach McWhorter of Springdale Har-Ber won the event the past two years.

"It was fun," Farmer said. "But it was really hot. I wish we could have jumped higher. It was one of those days."

After clearing 16-8, Farmer attempted to break the meet record of 17-1 by Andrew Irwin of Mount Ida, who competed at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. But he failed in all three attempts.

"He looked good at 16-8," Farmer's pole vaulting Coach Morry Sanders said. "His grip slipped one of the trips down the runway. When the bar is up that high, you can't waste a trip down the runway."

Still, competing in front of Irwin was a thrill for Farmer.

"I always give him crap, trying to break it," Farmer said of Irwin's record. "I didn't do it this year, so I'll have to do it next year."

Trinity Christian's Rhett Nelson was second, clearing 15-6 before failing in three attempts at 16-2. Vilonia's Thomas Hutchison came in third (15-2).

Farmer said he appreciates the competition with Nelson, the Class 1A state champion.

"There's not many people in the state you can jump with," Farmer said. "We push each other really far."

Saturday's championship was the latest for Farmer. In addition to winning the Class 6A state title, he won the Class 5A-7A indoor pole vault title in February.

Farmer has one high school meet left this season, the decathlon Wednesday and Thursday at Cabot.

Sanders, who competed at Lake Hamilton and Arkansas State University, is confident in Farmer going forward.

"I think Haze is going to be my first 18-footer," Sanders said. "He does some things really well. The good thing is, he's got a lot of little things on his vault he can clean up so he can be better. He can jump high doing the things he can do right now. But what happens when he gets a little better at this? He's going to jump a little bit higher, absolutely."

Other highlights from the Meet of Champs include:

• Hamburg's Tiana Wilson broke two Meet of Champs records in the girls' 100- and 200-meter runs. She clocked in at 11.72 in the 100 and 24.12 in the 200. Jada Baylark, a former Little Rock Parkview standout who is now competing at Arkansas, was the previous record holder in the 100 at 11.73 in 2016. West Memphis' Paris Perkins had the previous 200 record of 24.46, which also was set in 2016.

• Rivercrest's Sydney Lane won the girls high jump, clearing 5-8. Lane, a three-time Class 3A state champion in the high jump, won the event for the third consecutive season at the Meet of Champs.

• Gentry's Chastery Fuamatu earned two victories Saturday, winning the discus (138-6) and shot put (47-0).

Maumelle’s Claire Luallen won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.77 seconds at the Meet of Champs on Saturday at Lake Hamilton in Pearcy.

Sports on 05/13/2018

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