Mondo did it again.
For the second straight year at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Lafayette High’s Armand “Mondo” Duplantis set the world junior pole vaulting record. The senior bested the mark (19-4.25) he set last year at the same event with a vault of 19-5 Saturday afternoon, doing so on his third and final attempt at that height.
Duplantis, an LSU signee, finished in third in the elite pole vaulting division, behind France’s Renaud Lavillenie and Canada’s Shawn Barbe. Barbe and Lavillenie, Duplantis’ childhood hero who won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London and owns the world record, tied for first.
Though Lavillenie and Barbe didn’t vault any higher than Duplantis — all three competitors failed to clear 19-9 in three attempts — the elder vaulters cleared 19-5 on their first attempts.
Lavillenie’s participation at the Texas Relays was a big reason Duplantis, despite threats from the LHSAA that his high school eligibility would be stripped, wanted to compete in Austin.
On Tuesday, however, the LHSAA granted Duplantis a one-time waiver of bylaw 6.1.3 to compete in the Texas Relays and maintain his prep eligibility.
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Duplantis would have been violating the LHSAA’s independent team rule if he competed in the elite division while the high school track and field season is ongoing. Thus, he would have been ineligible, in any event, for the rest of the year.
But Duplantis can now turn his attention to the remainder of his senior year, where he’ll aim for his fourth outdoor state title in pole vaulting (he already has four indoor state titles in that event).