Ryan Wilkes is making his name in a sport he’s only had just over 3 years of practice in. After spending over a decade training as a gymnast, Ryan made the leap into pole vaulting, breaking records along the way. Currently ranked 10th in the country for his age, he’s jumping at least a foot higher than most of his competition all season.
“This year I set my goal to 14’6″ since indoor season and I got it so I’m happy but still I want to strive to get higher everyday and do better. State meet definitely they’re going to be putting it at 15 feet so that will be my next goal and that’s going to be real hard but I think I can do it,” Wilkes said.
High expectations isn’t something Ryan runs from. Instead, he’s charged ahead and achieved every goal he’s set for himself… Always wanting to work towards new ones.
Ryan’s pole vault coach, Peter Kolankoski said, “The difference this year is the fact that now he’s actually going all season long. We did a lot of indoor stuff with him this year, which we hadn’t last year, and then the indoor was key because it basically got him ready for the spring season.”
Ryan has literally raised the bar for himself with this first trip to states and now looks forward to learning from his competition and gaining quality experience because now the sky’s the limit.”
“The best thing about this sport is I feel that if the kid gets down there as a younger athlete as a sophomore or freshman, then they’re ready for the upcoming years so our goal was he had to get to states this year if he had a chance as a junior or senior to possibly win it so it’s great that he’s getting down in 10th grade,” Kolankoski continued.
“I don’t really know what to expect because it’s my first year so I’ll jump my best and see what happens.”
The State Championship meet begins this Friday at Shippensburg University.