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News Journal - April 20, 2007

MANSFIELD -- Leading the cheers Friday for Mehock Relays pole vault champion Logan Lynch was ... Logan Lynch.

As he stood at the top of the runway before each attempt, the senior from Bedford-Temperance (Mich.) rhythmically clapped his hands until the crowd joined in. Pumped by the enthusiasm, he soared 16 feet to break the meet's 21-year-old record by nearly four inches.


"The louder it is, the better I do," said Lynch, a three-time Michigan indoor champ and reigning outdoor state champ. "I like to have fun. I want to make it interesting for everybody. I went to an indoor meet where nobody had an idea what all the clapping was about. They thought I was crazy, but by the end, everyone was having a blast."
Lynch needed only one jump to win the gold medal. He entered the meet with the bar at 15 feet and cleared it on his first attempt. He then had the bar put at 16-0 and after he made that on his third attempt he had it raised to 16-7. Had he gone over, it would have broken the Ohio record of 16-4, even though it wouldn't have been recognized since he's from Michigan.

"If a head wind hadn't picked up, I think I might have made it over on my first try," said the Michigan State-bound Lynch. "But getting the (Relays) record means something ... every record does. So many people have tried and tried and tried. The only thing now is I'll be wondering if somebody breaks my record. I'll be bummed out a little bit, but I'll get over it."

Just like he got over his disastrous trip here last spring when he failed to clear his opening height.

"I had a really bad meet, a really bad year," said Lynch, whose personal best is 16-3 indoors. "I basically no-heighted all season until I pulled off 16 feet (for the title) at the state meet. There was a lot of pressure being so inconsistent, but the more I no-heighted the more it fed my fire for this year."

Lexington's Alex Boyd said it was hard not to feed off the fan energy inspired by Lynch. Boyd matched his career best of 14 feet, good for third place.

"I knew (Lynch) would win by a long shot, so I was trying to stick with the guy who finished second," said Boyd, referring to Michael Yassay of Northville, Mich. (14-6). "I should be getting bigger poles, so hopefully I'll be doing 14-6 pretty soon. I'd like to go 15 feet at the state meet."

Boyd cleared 11-2 as an eighth grader and has since broken every age group record at Lexington.

"I'm still a little inconsistent," he said. "I really suck at practice, but once I get in a meet, things seem to click."

Lex vaulting coach Brent Rastetter grinned as he listened to Boyd's self-analysis.

"It doesn't do me any good to watch him in practice," Rastetter said. "There have been practices where I've wanted to strangle him, but once you put him in a competitive situation and the adrenaline gets going, he steps up."

There were three other area medalists during Friday's abbreviated boys schedule. Madison's Jacari Davison and Ashland's Matt Lewis finished third and fourth, respectively, in the triple jump. Willard's distance medley quartet of Luis Velasco, Eric Opatken, Josh Miller and Alex Elminger took sixth in 8:30.7.

Davison, a transfer from Mansfield Senior, matched last year's third-place finish with a hop, skip and jump of 40-8.

"It feels very strange," Davison said about competing in different colors, "but I've still got old friends and made new friends."

Lewis, who placed sixth in the state indoor long jump, had a 42-foot triple jump indoors this year, which would have given him second place Friday. He ended up with a best of 39-11.

"Since we never do it, there's not much opportunity to practice it," Lewis said. "But I like it because it's a different event and it requires what I'm good at -- strong legs and an understanding of what comes easy to me. It's important to keep control while also being explosive. You have to find a balance of speed and power."
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