Millbrook Pole Vaulter, Elijah Cole finished off his historic high school career with a bang on Saturday afternoon in Greensboro, NC. After a 15-6 foot jump, Cole took home the 4A Pole Vault State Championship by a whole foot. "This really meant a lot to me" said Cole after the win, "to be able to wear Millbrook across my chest one last time, and go out on top during my senior year is quite the finish".
The victory was a bit sweeter for Cole, as for a second straight week he was able to finish one spot ahead of an in-conference rival in Broughton's Matt Dillon. In last week's regional meet at Apex Friendship, it was Cole who the top spot with a 14-foot jump, and on Saturday at North Carolina A&T University, Cole challenged the state record of 16 feet with a 15-6 jump, a personal best that came in twelve inches better than Dillon's second place vault.
At 15 feet-6 inches, the championship winning jump set a new Millbrook record for the pole vault that was previously held by Cole who turned in a 15-4 jump in mid-December on the indoor track circuit. With records being set left and right over the course of his career, the state record of 16 feet was one that Cole had his eyes on entering the weekend. "Having the mindset to chase the record really helped me going into the meet." remarked Elijah who literally suffered a tough break on Saturday when he had a pole snap in half on an attempt. "The broken pole threw me off my game, but I had the expectation to win, and I was able to blow the rest of the field out of the water with my jump."
Elijah Cole has signed on to take his talents to UNC Charlotte in the fall after receiving Cap-8 All-Conference merits at Millbrook for two years. He is the back-to-back 4A Mideastern Regional Pole Vault Champion, and the back-to-back Cap-8 Conference Pole Vault Champion. His 2016 4A Pole Vault State Championship accompanies a fourth place finish in the event in 2015. His state championship also marks the first in Track and Field at Millbrook since the Wildcats won the 400-meter relay, and current NFL player Keith Marshall won the 100-meter dash in 2011. In his outdoor career at Millbrook, Elijah Cole won 11 of the 20 meets that he competed in. He is currently ranked as the third best pole vaulter in the state of North Carolina.
With Olympic aspirations, Cole valued his time as a Wildcat saying that Saturday's state championship is just a reflection of all of the hard work over the last few years. "The joy that I get from this event pushes me to get better. My coach (Bobby Hostler) has all the answers, and he knows his stuff. I was fortunate enough to truly understand him and execute what he needs me to do. I'm glad that all of this work paid off in the end with the chance to participate in this event at the next level, and continue to push towards my olympic dreams".