At 7:13 p.m. Thursday night — the majority of events at the track and field division championships already completed — Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle sprinted down the pole vault runway for his first run-through.
For more than three hours, Normoyle, wearing sweats over his uniform, watched pole vaulter after pole vaulter compete in the division championships at Connetquot High School.
Finally, it was his time.
Electing to enter the competition at 13 feet 6 inches, Normoyle began at a time when 32 pole vaulters had already bowed out of the competition, leaving just four athletes still standing.
He had reason to be confident.
He easily soared over the bar at 13-6. And about 45 minutes later, in an intense competition featuring four outstanding pole vaulters, Normoyle set an outdoor school record by clearing 14-9.
What made the competition so great for Normoyle was the fact he was competing against two of his teammates. Sophomore Charles Villa set a personal best by clearing 14-6. He came awfully close on his second attempt at 14-9, just nicking the bar with his chest as he glided over.
Smithtown West senior Karl Nilsen matched Villa by clearing 14-6, but couldn’t equal Normoyle.
Riverhead senior Jonah Spaeth was fourth in the competition by clearing 13-6.
Normoyle attempted 15 feet three times just before the lights shut off at Connetquot.
Nilsen, who was persevered through a leg injury, was the first to clear 14-6 on his second attempt. Normoyle matched him on his next attempt, leaving it up to Villa to join them at the next height. On Villa’s third attempt he topped 14-6 for his personal best.
The four pole vaulters from Division II cleared higher heights than any pole vaulter from Division I or III.
See their top jumps below:
Dan Normoyle clears 14-9
Charles Villa clears 14-6