One day while walking the halls of Yukon Middle School as a seventh-grade student, Kyla Davis ran into Rodney Zimmerman, the head coach of the Yukon High School girls track and field program.
Zimmerman asked her if she had ever thought about getting into track and field and if she had ever considered pole vaulting.
Davis did gymnastics at that time and had never considered track and field as a potential sport for her, especially an event like the pole vault.
“She looked at me like I was crazy,” Zimmerman said. “She just looked like she was an athlete and someone who might have a chance at being a successful pole vaulter. It was just a hunch I had.”
Since Zimmerman planted the seed into Davis’ head three years ago, the Yukon High School sophomore has exploded onto the pole vaulting scene.
Last Friday, at the 6A State Track and Field Championships at Moore High School, Davis won her first pole vaulting state title and did it in dominating fashion. She hit another personal record in her final vault of the day with a jump of 12-feet, 9-inches, which gave her the best vault in 6A girls pole vaulting history and just four inches behind the state record, which is 13-feet, 1-inch.
The second-place girl in 6A’s highest vault was 10-feet.
“It was very exciting to win my first state title,” Davis said. “I have had a lot of support and encouragement from everyone. I am always competing for my own PR (person record) to better myself. I make sure that I have confidence that I am able to get a new height when I try and get a new PR. I know if I don’t have confidence, I won’t make it.”
Davis made a jump from her PR as a freshman at 11-feet, 7-inches to 12-feet, 9-inches as sophomore. She said she learned a lot from her experience as a freshman.
“I learned how to be more relaxed. I was pretty calm at each meet this year. Next year, I want to be in the 13-foot range and be around the state-record mark. I achieved my personal goal this year. Going in, I wanted to get 12-feet. I never imagined I would be at 12’9”.”
Zimmerman said he was impressed by what he saw of his star pole vaulter this year and looks forward to seeing what she can accomplish in the future.
“It was an outstanding season. You never just expect something to happen because you know nothing is for sure. She and the rest of her teammates in the pole vault were very consistent throughout the year. They are an impressive group. That was quite fun to watch on Friday. Kyla has an incredible work ethic and drive. She is always wanting to PR. She has the drive and ‘want to’ to keep improving and get even better than what she is now.”
Following Davis in the girls pole vault were Maycie Reed, who took fourth with a vault of 10-feet. Kenadi Hamilton placed ninth with a vault of 9-feet, 6-inches.
Other Yukon 6A state performances
The girls’ 4×400-meter relay team took 14th with a time of 4:15.18. The boys’ 4×100-meter relay team finished eighth with a time of 43.49 seconds. The boys’ 4×400-meter relay team placed seventh with a time of 3:26.87 and the boys’ 4×800-meter relay team took 11th with a time of 8:26.30.
Caden Hernandez finished 13th in the boys’ 100-meter dash with a time of 11.11. Blake Gerber placed seventh in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.15 and Tyler Dechant took eighth in the boys’ 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.43.
Blake Gerber finished 12th in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles with a time of 41.77 and Chris Gerber placed 16th in the boys’ 300-meter hurdles with a time of 43.66.
Dechant took second in the boys’ high jump with a jump of 6-feet, 6-inches and Joe Wythe finished 16th in the boys’ discus throw with a toss of 122-feet, 9-inches.
Overall, the girls team placed 15th out of 24 teams with Edmond Memorial taking home the top prize and the boys took 17th out of 25 teams with Broken Arrow winning first.