* Ohio native Dalton Shepler is the in the hunt for an All-American spot at NBNI
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Boys Pole Vault
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Contenders: Gabriel Gilfillan (Corsicana, TX), Scott Toney (Mountain View, CA), Spencer Evans (Mooresville, NC), Hunter Garretson (Newcomerstown, OH), Dalton Shepler (Vandalia, OH), Bradley Jelmert (Warren, NJ), Clayton Simms (Watson, LA), Jed Sisco (Morrow, OH) and Shane Racey (Ravena, NY)
Breakdown: Gabriel Gilfillan has separated himself from his peers and goes into the competition with a US No. 1 clearance of 17-5. He's improved over two-feet since his junior season.
But he's not a shoe-in. Other competitors over 17-feet are Hunter Garretson (17-4), Spencer Evans (17-0.75) and Scott Toney (17-4). Toney vaulted a US No. 2 at the National Pole Vault Summit in January, which is his only indoor vault of the season. Meanwhile, while Evans is having a season full of PRs -- he's gone a US No. 3 mark of 17-0.75 -- he's probably had the most national success lately. He was fifth at NBNI last year and second at NBNO
* Leah Pasqualetti is the odds-on favorite to win the girls pole vault at NBNI
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Girls Pole Vault
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Contenders: Leah Pasqualetti (Orchard Park, NY), Mia Manson (Louisville, CO), Sydney Horn (Lancaster, PA), Liliana Cohen (Germantown Academy, PA), Kolby Weiss (Bloomington, IL), Riley Hunt (Greenville, OH), Kenna Stimmel (Castalia, OH), Erin Kelleher (Wilmington, DE) and Heather Abadie (Baton Rouge, LA).
Breakdown: The field's best competitors (all mentioned above) are all over 13 feet, which makes this year's installment a tough event to call. In fact, there are a total of 16 girls over 13 feet in the pole vault this season.
But Pasqualetti, an Orchard Park (NY) senior, is ahead of the rest with her personal best of 13 feet, 4 inches. She and Liliana Cohen are returning All-Americans from last year's competition. And interestingly enough, Cohen, a Germantown Academy (PA) senior, even edged out Pasqualetti a year ago in fourth. Both cleared 13-2.25, though Cohen had an earlier clearance.
Pasqualetti has has at least eight inches on the next best competitor in 2020. So she's the favorite. And she's shown her consistency over 13-foot bars with five additional clearances this season.
Sydney Horn, who has committed to High Point University, will also be looking to improve her 2019 NBNI performance. She was seventh last year.
This season she's showing how comfortable she is over 13-feet with consistent marks and a new PR of 13-6. And then you can't forget about Mia Manson (13-7), Stimmel (13-3) and Hunt (13-3), who are all over 13 feet. Manson is currently ranked US No. 2.