Waynesburg’s Andrew Layton fights through pain to win PIAA Class 2A pole vault

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Saturday, May 27, 2023 | 5:22 PM


SHIPPENSBURG – Talk about a gutsy performance at the PIAA track and field championships Saturday at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.

Waynesburg senior Andrew Layton should be wearing a walking boot to protect his injured left foot.

But Layton said he wasn’t about to miss trying to win a gold medal after placing second the past two seasons.

Despite throbbing pain in his foot, Layton managed to win the gold medal and became the sixth Waynesburg pole vault winner.

He cleared 15 feet, 3 inches and attempted one jump at 15-7 to break his personal record.

Layton edged out Pen Argl senior Taylor LaBarre and Richland (District 6) junior Logan Gossard.

“I finally got it,” Layton said. “On my second attempt, I got nervous and messed up my entire run. I didn’t have time to invert my run. It was basically was a complete miss, and my heart was pounding. I was excited.”

Layton said his foot was hurting.

“I started to feel my foot the last three jumps,” Layton said. “I’m supposed to be wearing a boot. I’m not supposed to be vaulting.”

What makes Layton’s journey to a state title more amazing is that he competed in only four events this season.

He said he perfected a shorter run, which he knew could help him clear 15 feet.

“I only vaulted in meets,” Layton said. “I winged it.”

Layton said he hurt the foot in January. He said he vaulted a lot and played a lot of soccer, and it created a stress fracture.

“I knew I couldn’t get 16,” Layton said. “I knew if I perfected my jump, I could win.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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