When he left the Wayne regional on May 23, Zach Shepard didn’t know if he had performed his last pole vault attempt of the 2013 track season. His mark of 14-0 feet left him in fourth place in the regional field, one spot away and six inches short of automatically qualifying for the state finals.
Fortunately for the Prairie Heights junior, his regional effort was among the best three in the state not to garner a bid to the big meet. Thus, Shepard was added to the field of 27 to compete in the pole vault at the 110th annual IHSAA state meet held this past Friday in Bloomington.
Shepard made the most of his good fortune, soaring over the bar at 15-6 feet, easily claiming fifth place in the event. The height shattered his previous school record of 14-3.
Fellow LaGrange County competitor Nate Raber of Westview, finished eighth in the pole vault with a mark of 14-9 feet. Jared Schipper of Fort Wayne Dwenger cleared 16-3 to secure first place.
Two other local tracksters took part in the state finals meet Friday. Lakeland junior Evan Garretson finished 11th overall in the discus with a toss of 157-2.
Westview freshman Lindon McDonald competed in the high jump, but did not advance to the finals.