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WOW: Desert Vista HS Girls Pole Vaulters- Rewriting History! 4 over 12 feet!!!

Phoenix, AZ:  The last eight years the Desert Vista Pole Vault team has been averaging about 35 athletes a year but this year with 24 boys and 19 girls, the team of 43 is the largest in the country.  The team works well together with veteran team members nurturing younger athletes new to the event.  "When my athletes are seniors they are expected to be the leaders and frequently are called upon to lead groups since we are so big," said pole vault coach Jeff Guy, whose top five girls rank in the top 5 on the Arizona leader board.  He teaches the team to compete, not against each other, but within themselves.

Coach Guy has also set some pretty lofty goals for his girls team.  "Our goal this year was to get 4 girls or perhaps 5 girls over 12 feet from the same high school."

And two weeks ago at the Queen Creek Invitational Heather Arseneau became the 4th jumper on the Desert Vista team to clear 12 feet in the pole vault by jumping 12-3.  No other school in the country has ever accomplished such a feat but back in 2001 Atascadero High School in California, under coach Jan Johnon, came close with 3 girls breaking the 12 foot mark.
"It was very exciting when Heather finally did it a few weeks ago," said an elated Coach Guy.   
There is even more to be excited about.  Junior Kylie Harmon is jumping at 11-9 and could reach the 12 foot mark very soon.  Senior Shaylah Simpson holds the state record at 13-2.25 and both Courtney Reginado and Emily Heisler cleared 12 feet earlier in the season.
"I knew when my senior girls were freshmen we would have a special year when they were seniors," said Coach Guy about the girls team,  "They were all talented and all worked so well together.  The two juniors, Kylie and Merritt just made it extra special and both have learned a lot from the seniors."  
The girls will all tell you they had a lot of help reaching their goals from Coach Guy who has been coaching pole vault for 25 years, the last 6 at Desert Vista.  Prior to DV he spent 9 years at Corona del Sol where he coached Katie Morgan to three state championships before she graduated in 2004.  Katie went on to compete for the University of California Berkeley where she became the 2009 NCAA Champion.  
Seventeen girls have cleared 12 feet in Arizona and 9 of them were coached by Guy.  He has also coached 23 state champions and 10 runner ups and was named the National High School Coach of the Year.  In the last 13 years Coach Guy has had his top girl finish 3rd or higher at the State Meet.
With the top 5 girls graduating (all competing at the collegiate level) you might think their absence will leave a hole in the pole vault team but Coach Guy doesn't think so.  "With 12 freshmen boys and 9 freshmen girls  I am very excited about the future. This freshmen boys group is kind of like this senior girls group but with more of them."
 The boys and girls pole vaulting team will compete this weekend at the Tempe City Meet at Desert Vista High School.  For the seniors, it will be their last time competing at the Desert Vista campus.
Read more: http://az.milesplit.us/articles/42884

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