Boys track and field

ALL-USA Watch: Mondo Duplantis clears 19 feet in pole vault for U20 record

NEW YORK — Armand “Mondo” Duplantis is making a habit of impressing fans on the biggest stages in track and field.

The Lafayette (La.) High junior, the best prep pole vaulter in history and one of the best in the world in any age bracket, excelled once again at the New Balance National Indoor Championships on Saturday.

Duplantis cleared 19-1 to win the meet, surpassing 19 feet for the first time in competition and establishing national high school, age group and meet records in the process. He also set the U20 record.

The previous record was held by Raphael Marcel of Germany, who cleared 19 feet, one-quarter inch in 1989.


He bested 19-1 (5.82 meters) on his third attempt, then had three unsuccessful tries at 19-2.75 (5.86).

Duplantis, who made the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Track Team last spring, was already the national high school record-holder among freshmen (16-9.5) and sophomores (18-0.5) before his winning 18-10.25 at the Millrose Games in February placed him atop the all-time list of those in their junior year.

There is still time to break senior year records. The mark of 17-11.25 was set in 2015 by Deakin Volz for the previous New Balance standard.

KC Lightfoot was a distant runner-up on Saturday, a full two feet back at 17-1.

As usual, Duplantis had a long wait to perform. There were 25 vaulters in the first section on Saturday, with 16 joining him in the second section of action. But, as usual, the wait didn’t affect his performance.

Lafayette High’s Armand Duplantis (Photo: Scott Clause, The Advertiser)