* Rachel Homoly after clearing 12 feet, 3 inches at the Lovejoy Texas Express Holiday Invitational
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Only two female pole vaulters have ever cleared 13-feet in Missouri state history ... until Sunday.
And it would be a freshman who would make history.
Liberty High School's Rachel Homoly secured the feat at the Northwest Missouri State University Youth/Open Meet, posting a US No. 11 mark of 13-feet even.
The clearance not only ties the indoor state record, but it's also a new freshman national record, making her the only ninth grader to ever clear 13-feet indoors. It also puts her in a tie for seventh in US history among freshmen when including outdoor marks.
Lee's Summit West's Nicole Kallenberger first accomplished the feat in 2016 with her 13-foot clearance at the KU Jayhawk Open after hitting a then-state record during the 2015 outdoor season (12-10.5). The senior would go on to win another state title during the 2016 outdoor season, but we would have to wait until 2017 for another 13-foot vaulter outdoors.
Then Columbia Independent School's Khristen Bryant made state history in 2017 when she cleared the mark at the Class 1 Sectional 1 meet. She would go on to clear 13 again at the Class 1 state meet where she came in seven inches ahead of the second-place finisher's mark (9-6) and proceeded to break the state meet record. One month later, she earned All-American status with a 13-1 clearance at New Balance Nationals Outdoor.
Over the past two years, Liberty's Rachel Homoly has been quickly ascending the national ranks among middle school vaulters.
In the eighth grade, she cleared 12-feet indoors before pushing that to 12-4 at the AAU National Club Championship. The mark was a 14-year old age group record and helped her earn the second of her three AAU National titles in 2019.
* Rachel Homoly sets new (AAU Club National Championship) record in 14yo PV
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Since that 12-4 clearance in July, Homoly has only missed a 12-foot clearance once.
In fact, this entire 2020 indoor campaign the freshman phenom had already pushed her personal best up three times before Sunday's third Northwest Missouri State University Youth/Open Meet.
On Sunday, she jumped in a second group with a higher bar which included primarily boys. Coming in at 11-feet, she made quick work of four heights as she was quickly making attempts at a a new personal best of 12-9.
"I wasn't worrying about the bars," Homoly said of her approach. "I just wanted to enjoy the last indoor meet with some of the seniors I train with before they move on to college. I can remember dancing along to the music that was playing and some of the other competitors joined in, it made all the parents laugh. I was feeling fast all day."
She would clear 12-9 with several inches to spare on her second attempt and move on to the rarified air of 13-feet right away. Her second attempt, once again, proved fruitful and state history had been made.
"My coach...pulled out a brand new pole I [had] never been on," she said. "It was a 13-6, 6.7, 155 Altius. Coach Cooper told me to grip up an inch, back up six inches on the runway and bring it. The funny part is I put so much chalk on the new tape it felt a little slippery in my hands on the runway."
"All I was thinking as a ran down the runway was to hang on tight," she said. "As soon as I planted the pole I knew I had it. Next thing I know coach Cooper was up on the mat with me cheering with all my friends."
Missouri now has three 13-foot vaulters all-time and two on the indoor circuit.
Homoly is now one measly inch off the all-time state record of 13-1. And she has yet to vault in a MSHSAA sanctioned outdoor meet yet.
The freshman is already on a journey to rewrite not just Missouri's record books, but the nation's record books, and she has yet to even don an official high school uniform. She is another example of the phenomenal pole vault and track and field scene in the Show Me State.