Sheboygan North's Becker wins state title

Sheboygan North's Becker wins state title

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Sheboygan North's Becker wins state title

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Sheboygan North's Dan Becker attempts 15-feet 3-inches in the pole vault at the WIAA State Track and Field Meet Division 1 competition at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Saturday, June 6.

Sheboygan North’s Dan Becker attempts 15-feet 3-inches in the pole vault at the WIAA State Track and Field Meet Division 1 competition at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Saturday, June 6.

The best view of Roger Harring Stadium on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus may be high atop Granddad Bluff.

Sheboygan North’s Dan Becker didn’t get to that elevation, but he did get a pretty good view of the action below.

Becker cleared a school record 15 feet in the pole vault and captured the WIAA Division 1 state title in the event at the WIAA State Track and Field meet on Saturday.

“It’s amazing. I didn’t think it would work out but everything came together at this meet,” Becker said. “It’s just amazing.”

Becker, who finished second in the pole vault at the indoor state meet, nearly raised the bar even higher.

On one of his attempts at 15-feet, 3-inches, Becker appeared to clear the bar but then knocked it down as he dropped toward the mat. He said it was more of a matter of his approach, rather than his form going over the bar.

“I think adrenaline was pumping and my steps kept getting real close to the pit,” Becker said. “I was running too fast.”

Becker, who bettered his own school record with the vault, said that he often practices trying to clear at the 15-foot mark and above, yet it’s a different feeling when it comes times for the meet.

“I will practice at those heights, but I’m shooting for it — I’m not clearing it,” Becker said. “We get to a meet and we got the adrenaline going. You’re on the bigger poles and everything comes together.”

Sheboygan North’s Dan Becker waits his turn at the pole vault during Saturday’s WIAA State Track and Field Meet. Becker won the title in the event.

Sheboygan North’s Dan Becker waits his turn at the pole vault during Saturday’s WIAA State Track and Field Meet. Becker won the title in the event.

Becker was the only vaulter in the field to top the 15-foot mark, but all of the competitors in the field had to deal with a difficult distraction.

After clearing the opening height, Hudson’s John Uchytil snapped his pole on an attempt at 13-feet, 6-inches and was injured. Becker knew the exact feeling having snapped a pole two weeks ago.

“You just have to put it behind you and don’t think about it,” Becker said. “If you think about it too much, you’re not going to trust your pole.”

Becker did and it paid off with a state title.

“I really peaked at the right time this season. Regionals and sectionals were great and going into this meet I knew I could do it, but it’s state,” Becker said. “It’s great. I didn’t expect it going into this year. I had high hopes and 15 feet was my goal for the year. It all came together at the right time.”

Steve Clark: 920-426-6659 or sclark@gannett.com

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