Philip McLaughlin went into the 7A-Central conference track meet hoping to set a new personal best.
The Southside junior not only accomplished that but he also captured the league crown.
“I felt pretty good today, felt like I could clear higher heights than my best and I did,” McLaughlin said. “I cleared 14 feet 4 inches, almost cleared 14-6.”
The Southside school record of 15 feet, two inches was set in 1999. McLaughlin will have a chance to break that next week at the state meet but his coach, who is also his older brother, couldn’t have been any happier with Thursday’s results.
“I feel about 12 feet tall right now, it`s great,” Southside coach Ryan McLaughlin said. “I love watching all these kids hit their PR and get their personal best. It`s a small team here of vaulters but real tight knit.”
Fellow Southside vaulter Sam Haraway was neck and neck with McLaughlin throughout the event. Haraway finished second but the two’s relationship runs deeper than the final standings.
“They even share the pole so a lot of their things are similar but they are each their own individual vaulter so I think that really helps to drive them,” Ryan McLaughlin said.
“We`ve been pretty much at the same level since 9th grade and it helps a lot,” Philip McLaughlin said. “We`re real good friends so we pretty much just try to pull each other to first and second or try to stay right beside each other the entire time.”