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High school track: Yukon's Kyla Davis looking to launch into record books

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Davis
Davis

YUKON – As Kyla Davis began the ascent and her feet cleared the bar, she knew she had a personal record.

The sophomore at Yukon is one of the top pole vaulters in the state. At the Duncan regional last Saturday, Davis cleared 12-feet, 7-inches, which is only six inches off the state record and better than the Class 6A state meet record. Davis started making noise in the state’s track and field scene before she started high school, and her name could be in the state record books as soon as this weekend as the Class 6A state meet gets underway.

“She’s as focused as any athlete I’ve ever had,” Yukon pole vaulting coach Clay Bedell said. “She’s real level headed.”

Two years ago on her 14th birthday, Davis captured gold for pole vaulting at the USA Track & Field Hershey Junior Olympic Championship in Lawrence, Kansas. She cleared 11-feet, 5 3/4-inches.

Her best jump going into that meet? 10-feet.

Davis hasn’t been pole vaulting for too long. Her life revolved around gymnastics growing up. She started when she was 3 and continued for 10 years.

Some of her friends who she competed with at gymnastics convinced her to get into track. The one thing Davis said she wanted to do if she got into track was pole vaulting because of how fun it looked and gymnastics friends who did it.

Davis was a natural. Her strength from gymnastics helped her form and control while planting the pole and flinging herself over the bar.

“Gymnastics gave me a good start to (pole vaulting),” Davis said. “The body control, getting myself in the right positions. It gave me the strength right off the bat.”

The past two seasons working with Bedell, Davis said, has helped her focus on her technique. Planting the pole, how to fly over the bar when she gets airborne and her running approach on top of other training exercises.

Three girls have set the Class 6A state meet record of 12-feet, which Southmoore’s Emily Gardiner accomplished in 2016. Plainview’s Danielle Nowell set the overall state record of 13-1 in 2010.

In due time, and possibly Friday, Davis is going to set the record. It’s just a matter of what it’s going to be when she makes her last high school jump.

“Going into my sophomore year, my goal was to get over 12 feet,” Davis said. “Getting close to 13 never came to my mind. This season has been kind of crazy for me.”

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internships with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in... Read more ›

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