Waynesburg’s Taylor Shriver clears 13 feet, wins long-awaited PIAA pole vault title

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Saturday, May 29, 2021 | 12:39 AM


SHIPPENSBURG — Waynesburg pole vaulter Taylor Shriver needed three tries to clear her first bar at the state championships, an 11-foot jump that’s normally routine for the senior.

But then she soared to new heights.

Shriver cleared 13 feet to set an outdoor personal record Friday and won the state title at the PIAA Class AA track and field championships.

She placed third at states as a sophomore in 2019, but after her junior season was canceled, the Akron recruit wrapped up her high school career with a long-awaited state title.

“I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet,” Shriver said. “Whenever (coach Butch) Brunell came out here, we both shed a few tears. There are probably more tears that are going to be shed. I’m going to miss it, a lot.”

Shriver won the event by two feet over Greensburg Central Catholic junior Corinn Brewer. The 13-foot height matches Shriver’s personal best from indoor track.

“Once I finally cleared 11, there was some relief,” she said. “After I won and I knew that I won, a little more relief went off. Once I cleared 13, I think it was all off of me.”

Clearing 13 feet was her mission all spring.

“I’ve hit it at indoors,” she said. “In the back of my head, I said, ‘You’ve cleared it once. Why can’t you clear it again?’”

With that goal crossed off her list, Shriver tried to break the PIAA championship meet record of 13-4 but said her legs were tiring and she fell short.

That she could accept. But the thought of her state competition ending at 11 feet — forever recorded as “no height” — had her a bit nervous for a moment. A third miss at 11 feet and Shriver would have been out of the competition, an unthinkable outcome for an athlete who typically enters at 11 feet, 6 inches.

“My warm-ups weren’t how I wanted them to be, so I came in at 11 thinking this is a height that I can clear,” she said, “and it will get me another good warm-up.”

She said she had a similar start at the WPIAL event.

“We don’t want to get in the habit of that,” she said with a laugh.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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