CLOQUET, MN -- On a beautiful, sunny day at the 7AA girls track and field finals, two athletes were leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.
Hibbing junior Julia Gherardi flew to the top of the pole vault leaderboard late in the meet. She didn't even start vaulting until the bar was over 11 feet.
Gherardi set her own PR, section meet, and school record with a vault of 12 feet, 7 inches. She would later get three attempts at 13 feet, but couldn't quite clear the bar.
"As of last year, I didn't know if I would ever get to vault, and now that I'm doing it, and getting the section meet record is amazing. It was really fun having everybody watching me, a little bit of pressure to motivate me," said Gherardi.
She hopes to clear 13 feet and take first place at the state meet. Gherardi added that she is looking to pole vault at the division one level after high school, and is looking at Montana right now.
Cloquet's Olivia Jameson was the last high jumper standing, with a winning jump of 5 feet, 5 inches. She nearly cleared her PR of 5 feet, 7 inches just minutes later, but came up just short.
"It was pretty fun. It was slow going at the beginning, but I think we all hit the ground running, and we all got going pretty fast, and everybody started improving really fast because they were so excited to be back on the track. Once I got recovered after my 4x2, it went a lot better, my legs didn't feel as tired," said Jameson
She also won the 100 hurdles, and triple jump events.