When the weather finally agreed, Cody Simon and Dan McGuinn predicted this would happen.
Last week, Simon, a Shelton High School senior, effortlessly cleared three heights in the pole vault in front of his home crowd, soaked in rain.
He was satisfied enough to clear 14 feet for the second time in his career. But, Friday’s performance brought a more jubilant reaction.
Finally, under a rare blue sky, Simon raised the bar to 14-6 and cleared it at the 53rd Bob Shaner Invitational at Tumwater.
“It’s amazing,” Simon said. “When I cleared 14-6, and I went over it — the second you go over the bar, you know you’ve cleared it or you know you’ve missed it.
“On the way down I was shaking my fist. I was so happy on the way down. You feel like you’re falling forever, basically, because you’re just in the moment.”
Simon would prefer to raise the bar higher, and fall even further.
He’s ranked third — alongside two other athletes — in Class 3A in the event. He’s tied for the eighth-ranked spot statewide. But he’s not satisfied yet.
“Oh no,” Simon said. “I’m going. There’s so much more I want out of this. I’ve got a few tweaks to make on my form, and after that, I think I’ll just sail.”
McGuinn, who coaches pole vault at Tumwater and has mentored Simon throughout his high school career, said this is just the beginning.
“Cody is just now scratching the tip of what he’s going to be doing,” McGuinn said. “In a year or two, that kid is going to be seriously jumping some heights.”
Simon has come a long way since the seventh grade. He first tied pole vaulting at the high school, on a broken broomstick and then a broken crossbar.
He then turned his trampoline into a pole vault pit, tying a rope between two bars. He dug a hole in front, grabbed a steel pole and started jumping.
“From there I just couldn’t stop,” Simon said.
And he hasn’t.
Simon works throughout the year with McGuinn in Tumwater and Centralia. He said he’s always trying to make progress, and is third on Shelton’s school record list so far.
“He’s got more dedication than 99 percent of the kids out there,” McGuinn said.
McGuinn said Simon has the potential to walk on at a Division I college like UW or WSU. And, as the weather continues to even out, Simon will likely benefit.
“I don’t like to try to set a limit, but I would love to be at at least 15-0 by the end of the season,” he said. “I definitely feel it.”