Story provided by Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call
JUNE 1, 2018 - COLUMBUS
"The Jett" Wins State Title...
All the blood. All the sweat. All the tears.
It was all worth it.
And the big smile on Covington senior pole vaulter Jett Murphy's face told the story as he stood atop the podium at the Division III state track and field meet Friday night after winning the pole vault with a school record 15-foot vault.
And Murphy wasn't going to be denied.
Not after an ACL injury as a freshman, an ACL injury earlier this spring and a meniscus injury early this spring.
"I was really worried about the beginning of the season," Murphy said. "I wasn't jumping very well. But, right now, I feel great. I have never felt better."
The accomplishment tells you something special about Murphy.
"He is just an amazing kid," Newton coach Nick Rhoades, who helps Murphy with the pole vault, said. "He has been vaulting basically all spring with some issues with his knee. He shows you the support he has with his family and the Covington coaching staff and community."
Friday was a tough competition from the start.
Murphy had only one miss - at 14-4 as the bar was moved 15-feet with five vaulters still on.
Murphy was the last to take his first attempt at 15-0 - and the only one to make it on his first attempt.
As he landed on the mat, he pumped his first and had a big smile.
"I wasn't necessarily thinking that would win it," Murphy said. "I knew it would put me in the top two. It is a height I have been wanting to make for a long time and it gave me the school record."
Rhoades thought it was even bigger than that.
"When you get to 15-feet, if you make it on your first attempt, you are going to win," Rhoades said.
But, Hunter Garretson of Newcomerstown cleared 15-0 on this third attempt, making it a two-man competition.
The bar was raised to 15-4 - and if neither vaulter cleared that height, Murphy would win on misses.
After both missed on the first two attempts, Garretson had one last attempt at 15-4.
When he failed, Murphy was state champion.
"You never root against anybody," Rhoades said. "Because, if he makes it, he deserves to win. But, you are nervous."
Murphy just missed at 15-4, but it didn't matter.
"I started vaulting in eighth grade," Murphy said. "I missed my freshman year with an injury. When I got fourth as a sophomore and third as a junior, that's probably when I started thinking about winning."
And it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears it took to get there.