Armand “Mondo” Duplantis of Lafayette (La.) repeats as the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
The ALL-USA teams are coordinated by Fred Baer, founder, Track and Field Writers of America with boys selections by Jack Shepard, high school editor of Track and Field News.
Boys Track & Field Coach of the Year: Al Leslie, Saline
MORE: Second Team
Name: Armand “Mondo” Duplantis
School: Lafayette (La.)
Event: Pole Vault
Winning a fourth consecutive state high school championship along with a national record would put a fitting cap on a great prep career for most high school athletes. For Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, his 19-foot, 5 and a half inch pole vault at the Louisiana State meet in Baton Rouge on May 1 once again raised the world junior (under age 20) and high school records he has been regularly increasing over the past two seasons.
The mark ranks No. 2 in the world for 2018, just three-quarters of an inch behind the season best by world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France.
Duplantis was an easy repeat selection to lead the 2018 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys track and field team.
So what has he done recently for an encore in one of track’s glamour events?
On June 10th Duplantis visited the birth country of his mother, Helena, for a Diamond League meet in Stockholm, Sweden – the top level of competition on the international pro circuit. All he did there was defeat the last FOUR world champions – with the highest vault on the DL circuit this year, 19-2 3/4. They included reining world (and U.S.) champion Sam Kendricks.
Then, on June 19, the 18-year-old Duplantis ventured into Lavillenie’s home territory, Montreuil, France, and defeated the world’s best head-to-head with a 19-4 3/4 vault. Lavillenie settled for second place at 19-2 3/4.
Duplantis has four of the top eight performances in the world this season.
His parents are both former athletes at LSU, which Mondo plans to attend in the fall. He has retained his collegiate/amateur eligibility at this point. His father (and coach) Greg still ranks among the top 15 high school vaulters with a 17-11 3/4 clearance in 1981 – which was then the U.S. high school outdoor record (as well as a school record for Lafayette High). Helena was a heptathlete and triple jumper at LSU – and for Sweden – in the 1980’s. With dual citizenship, Mondo has chosen to compete for Sweden – and is now the country’s national record holder. Greg competed on the international circuit, clearing a best of 19-0 3/4 in 1993 – the family record that Mondo eclipsed last year.
During his high school career, Mondo Duplantis set the high school freshman class record of 17-4 1/2 in 2015 and won the IAAF World Youth (under age 18) title in Calif. Columbia. In 2016 he set the sophomore class record of 18-1. Last season he erased the then year-old high school record of 18-4 1/2, set by Chris Nilsen of Park Hill (Kansas City, Mo.), and continued to become the first high school 19-foot vaulter — also the Swedish national record holder — at 19-4 1/4.
He has vaulted more than a foot higher than any other high school athlete. No. 2 all-time is 2018 All-USA selection K.C. Lightfoot of Lees Summit (Mo.) at 19-5.
PRESEASON: ALL-USA Preseason Boys Track and Field Team