Marion High School junior Ethan Welch continues to soar to new heights.
Ethan, a junior on the merged Marion-Gananda indoor track and field team, cleared 14-feet to win the Section V Class A4 championship in the pole vault Sunday at Nazareth College.
Ethan set a school record for the fifth time this season and has the best pole vault in all of Section V this season. Ethan’s previous best was 13-feet, 6-inches set on Feb. 11. His most recent effort is 21 inches higher than the school record of 12-3, he set on Dec. 16.
“It’s awesome,” Marion-Gananda coach Paul Pfeiffer said. “Everything is coming together for him. He is dedicated to pole vault and that’s what you have to do. He wants to be the best and as a coach you love to coach kids like that.”
Ethan entered the competition at 12-6 and needed three attempts to clear that height and win his second indoor and third overall Section V pole vault championship. He then cleared 13 feet and eventually attempted and succeeded at 14-feet. He celebrated his latest record-breaker with a backflip on the mat.
“I just got the adrenaline going and told myself that I was going to make it,” Ethan said. “It was just positive thinking.”
Oren Welch, Ethan’s twin brother, cleared 12-feet to finish second in the pole vault. The boys team placed fourth overall with 49 points and the girls were eighth with 29.
Ethan, who also finished third in the high jump, advances to the state qualifiers at Nazareth on Thursday where he will compete for a spot in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships on March 4 at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island.
Other place winners for Marion-Gananda were:
Hannah Roegiers, 300 run (44.75)
Hayley Wurster, long jump (16-4½)
Katie McGarvey, 600 run (1:52.43)
Hayley Wurster, triple jump (31-10)
Helena Hamilton, 1,500 racewalk (10:45.48)
Jenna Kuhn, shot put, (27-10½)
Landon Wertz, 1,600 run (5:10.56)
4-by-800 relay, (9:58.4)
Michael Ciripompa, 3,200 run (10:51.64)
Oren Welch, triple jump (37-6)
Darius Brewington, shot put (37-6¾)
Aaron Meyer, 3,200 run (11:11.30)
Oren Welch, 55 hurdles (9.03)