LAKEWOOD -- An hour or so before Riverdale Ridge's Lucas Couron began his state-championship effort in the boys state 4A pole vault May 22 at a brisk Jeffco Stadium, he left.
"A lot of things went right," Couron said. "I would say when it was cold, standing in the bathroom worked pretty well. It's hot in there, man. I stood in there for 45 minutes. That worked."
Couron's top height was a season-best 15 feet 9 inches, beating his old standard by 2 inches. He tried three times to set a new state meet record at 16 feet 1/2 inch but came up short.
"Moving up poles that I didn't plan on getting on, but using that adrenaline for state? That worked," Couron said. "At the end of the day, you can't complain about a PR (personal record) at state."
Couron started vaulting last year.
"I didn't get the state record," Couron said. "But I did get a PR at state."
Couron won the Longs Peak League title two weeks ago.
"I changed things up a little bit," he said. "I kept practicing on those big poles I've been trying to get on. It was being more patient with my poles. Rather than try to move up right away, I started low. I made sure everything was smooth before I started on those higher bars."
Couron's first height was 13 feet 3 inches.
"Quinn Dukes cleared it by 2 or 3 feet. I cleared it by 3 or 4 feet," Couron said. "I was like, 'This one's mine. You can have any other meet, but this one is mine.'"
Couron cleared his first two heights easily, then opted to pass two of the next three heights.
"After my height over the last bar., I was already in first place," Couron said. "There was no point in wasting three jumps on another bar. It worked out well."
Couron plans to continue his pole vaulting career at Eastern Washington University in the fall in Spokane, Washington.
"I was pretty sure I was going to win. I was so focused on the state meet record (16 feet) that I wasn't focusing on whether I'd win the meet," Couron said. "It's always good to be sure, but knowing that you're sure is another thing.
"It was pretty nice."