World Junior pole vault record holder Mondo Duplantis is making his 2018 debut at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, from January 12-13.
It will be the third appearance for the Lafayette (LA) High senior at the Summit, which hosts some of the nation's top pole vaulters at the Reno Livestock Event Center, though it will be his first since 2016. Duplantis signed with Louisiana State University over the National Letter of Intent (NLI) early signing period in November.
Duplantis, who earned that world junior record outdoors at the Texas Relays, opted last year to open his season at the LSU High School Classic, where he vaulted 18 feet, 5 inches. At the time, it represented over a foot improvement from the previous indoor season. The Louisiana senior eventually closed his indoor campaign with a record jump, going an indoor U20 world record of 19-1 at New Balance Nationals Indoor on March 12.
It will be interesting to see how Duplantis opens his last high school season with Lafayette, considering his last competition was at the IAAF World Championships in London in July, where he finished ninth with a height of 18-0.5.
The winner of last year's National Pole Vault men's elite field was Mike Arnold, who went 5.5 meters (18-0). Last year's high school winner was Lee's Summit (MO) High's KC Lightfoot with a mark of 16-10. Lightfoot, however, has already cleared 17-6 this season and owns the U.S. No. 1 effort in the event.