The loosey-goosey Woodinville junior won the league pole vault title with a personal best of 15 feet, a coveted number among elite high school vaulters and rare air in Falcon history.
Only Curtis Flolid, who won last year’s Class 4A state title at 15’ 3, and Trevor Sodorff –Austin’s big brother and a 2007 WHS grad – have hit the mark.
And both were on hand at Juanita High School on Friday to root the younger Sodorff on and watch him do his thing, which made it even sweeter.
"Oh man I feel great," Sodorff said moments after exchanging hugs with the guys that inspired him to pursue the sport. "What a day! This is awesome and a dream come true."
He said he couldn’t have done it without the help of pole vault coach Andrew Storey and Flolid, who was on the field and in his ear all day.
"They kept telling me to get down and stay with the pole and that really made the difference."
There was a moment of great theater: After nailing 15, Sodorff raised the bar to 15’ 4 – not the usual three inch increase – in an effort to break Flolid’s school record. Flolid, now a freshman athlete at Washington State, loved every inch of it and cheered him on, as did the entire fraternity of vaulters who gathered to watch.
But no dice for Sodorff, who failed twice at the attempt and even got a bloody lip when the bar literally fell on his face.
It didn’t stop him from smiling. "At the beginning of the season my goal was 13 (feet) so, hey, I gotta be happy."
Coach Storey was asked when he realized Sodorff was capable of hitting 15 feet. "After last week I thought it was a reasonable expectation because he’s come so far so fast," he said. "Last year his best was 10 feet. So he can go far. He’s very passionate about the sport and maybe the hardest worker I’ve ever had. He goes to clinics and weight-trains in the offseason. Plus he’s not scared to fail and he’s willing to try new things."
Sodorff emerged as one of three Woodinville KingCo track and field champions. Sophomore long distance sensation Chandler Olson swept the 1600 and 3200 meter runs while dusting the competition, and senior Melissa Gilkey won javelin at 114’10.
"She’s pretty amazing," head coach Jed Sires said of Olson. "Extremely talented, hard- working and she just ran her own race and didn’t worry about the competition in both of those events."
The Bothell boys dominated the meet with 142 team points, a whopping 44 points over runner-up Garfield. Dylan Langston won the 100 meter dash handily at 11.08, Braden Foley took javelin with a throw of 165’ 09, and both relay teams – the 4X100 (Luke Proulx, Will McIntyre, Nick Anthony and Trent Sewell) and 4X400 (Chayce Sather, Anthony, Chris Arneson and Sewell) – got to the finish line first.
The Inglemoor girls tied Redmond at 109 for a share of the team title, and were led by Erin Allen who doubled with wins in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles.
Competition moves on to Marysville-Pilchuk High School on Wednesday and Friday, where the KingCo top-eight in each event will face off in the district meet. Top-five performers there will head to state.