Meacham, Brown, Starkey Highlight High School Nationals

Rising La Costa Canyon senior Garrett Brown, right, celebrates with his older brother Kyle at the Vaulter Magazine High School Nationals on Friday night where the young Brown set a CIF-San Diego Section record. (Photo: Zoe Medranda)

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Friday night's Vaulter Magazine-sponsored High School Nationals held at the Vaulter Club private facility in Menifee, saw Anthony Meacham, a rising junior at Woodsboro (TX) High clear 17-2.75 to win the national boys competition, beating rising senior Garrett Brown of Carlsbad (CA) La Costa Canyon HS, who hit a personal best of 16-10.75, the highest vault ever by a CIF-San Diego Section athlete. 

In the girls competition, University of Kansas-bound Taylor Starkey from Queen Creek (AZ) Casteel HS, defeated Samara McConnell, a rising senior at Gilbert (AZ) Perry HS, both with 13-1.50 clearances.


Meacham (Zoe Medranda photo) opened at 15-9 and cleared his first three heights without a miss. After Brown scratched following his record clearance, Meacham pushed the bar to a PR of 17-2.75, which he cleared on his first attempt. He then took three attempts at 17-7. 

Brown opened at 14-9 and was clean through both 15-3 and 15-9 before needing three attempts to get over 16-2.75. It took another three attempts to move past 16-6.75, a half inch short of his PR. The bar then moved to 16-10.75, where he cleared on his second attempt, his 11th of the competition. 

Hunter Kasprzyk, a 2020 graduate of Gilbert (AZ) Highland HS, was third in a significant PR of 16-6.75.

Starkey, the 2019 Arizona state champion who was runner-up at the National Pole Vault Summit indoors over the winter, opened with a clearance at 12-1.50, cleared on her second attempt at both 12-7.50 and 13-1.50 before missing at 13-7.25. It was the third title for Starkey in five outdoor meets in 2020.

McConnell, who cleared 13-0 outdoors in February, was clean to open at 11-7.75, needed three attempts before getting over at 12-1.50, cleared 12-7.50 on her first attempt, and then got over her PR of 13-1.50 on her second attempt before missing at 13-7.25, taking 10 jumps in the competition. 

Heather Abadie, a rising senior at Baton Rouge (LA) St. Michael, was third at 12-7.50. Abadie had hit a 13-4 PR two weeks ago in gaining her fourth title in as many meets outdoors in 2020. 


Check out event coverage:

  • INTERVIEWS (including with Meacham, Brown and McConnell)
  • PHOTOS (500-plus image photo gallery by Zoe Medranda)