NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

June 6, 2014

FLYING HIGH

Coming off record-breaking performance, Triton's Stevens sets sights on All-States

(Continued)

“It’s an impressive record,” Colbert said. “He has progressively been getting better week after week, so it’s not unrealistic to think he may go higher (tomorrow) at All-States. While there’s a good chance of it, winning the state championship is such an emotional rush, so maintaining focus mentally would be a challenge. But at this point, nothing would surprise me with him.”

Stevens said he’s aiming for 14 feet tomorrow, a height he has never successfully cleared. As it stands now, clearing 14 feet would make him one of just three to do so in any division’s Massachusetts State Championship meet this year.

Stevens is seeded fifth for tomorrow’s meet and will test his record-setting performance last week against the best athletes that Massachusetts has to offer. Seeds are awarded in dependence with qualifying jump heights at the State Championship meet. While his seed may appear underwhelming, his potential to finish on top should not be overlooked.

While Stevens cleared 13-71/2, the state’s top seed belongs to Greenfield’s Vladimir Popusoi, who cleared 15 feet this season, which currently stands three inches shy of the All-State meet record set in 2012.

Though the desire to improve on an individual basis has been a major influence, Stevens’ team has reaped the benefits of his hard work as well. While he enjoys the benefits in the form of awards, titles and records, his team enjoys his contribution to its point total as well as its reputation. Though Triton finished the season with a less-than-stellar 2-6 record, Stevens has yet to lose at the pole vaulting event through nine meets.

“We pretty much knew going into every meet that we would win the pole vault,” Colbert said. “He didn’t lose all season long. It’s a nice feeling to have as a coach.

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