Kendricks was able to clear 6.06 meters on his second attempt. He cleared all the previous heights on his first attempt as well: 5.91 meters, 5.86 meters, 5.81 meters, 5.76 meters, 5.71 meters, 5.66 meters, 5.56 meters and 5.46 meters.
With 6.06 meters, Kendricks set a new personal best, facility record and a new world-leading mark, surpassing Polish pole vaulter Piotr Lisek’s 6.02 clearance from a few weeks ago.
All the American pole vaulters that competed in this year’s national competition rushed over to congratulate Kendricks with a huge hug-fest on the mat as he cleared the height, and it was followed by a warm embrace with his father and coach, Scott, as it was certainly an emotional yet joyful moment for them both, as Kendricks rewrote the American track and field history books.
Veteran pole vaulter Bubba Sparks remarked, “Sam [Kendricks] has long been Mr. Consistency but has seemed to fade in the background when others put up big jumps. Sam and his father and coach, Scott, kept on their path with a workman like precision. Briefly, when Sam cleared six meters and won every meet he was the favorite. When Mondo Duplantis and Piotr Lisek put up six-meter jumps and higher, Sam and Scott stuck to their plans and kept their heads down.”
“Head to head there is no more consistent high-level vaulter as I’ve been saying for years. Though this mark may surprise the world, it doesn’t surprise me and I can assure you it doesn’t surprise Sam and Scott,” Sparks added. “I am so happy for these guys and excited to see what happens in Doha and at the Tokyo Olympics. Sam Kendricks is the guy to beat. I believe that is the second-highest jump outdoors in history behind Bubka. Congrats and continued success.”
On July 25, Sam Kendricks chatted with Digital Journal about the camaraderie in the sport of pole vault and his plans for the future.
To learn more about Sam Kendricks and Team Kendricks, check out their official website.
Read More: Earlier this year, Digital Journal chatted with Scott Kendricks, Sam’s father, and pole vault coach.