Erick Duffy Soars 16-6 at New York Meet !


In 2012, Brendan Sullivan of Westford Academy became the first Massachusetts vaulter to clear 16Ft barrier.  He cleared 16ft exactly during the Weston Twilight Invitational and established the new Massachusetts All time record.  This past season at the MIAA Division 2 Championships at Norwell High School, Erick Duffy of North Andover cleared 16-00.25 and took down Sullivan's record. What was more impressive than the actual record vault was how far Duffy cleared the cross bar, so it was only a matter of time before the Junior from North Andover would rewrite the record books once again.

Last weekend in Warwick, New York, Duffy vaulted 16-6" at the Hudson Valley Flying Circus BBQ Meet. Milesplitmass caught up with Erick Duffy to discuss some his record breaking performance and more.

MS: Tell us a little about how you ended up at the Flying Circus Summer Camp?

Duffy: "I went down to outdoor nationals this year without knowing who would be able to coach me during my competition. Once I was down there, I met Coach Tim St. Lawrence. He helped coach me which was a lot of help. He runs the Flying Circus camp. I had also heard from one of my good friends, Julia Valenti (who vaults with me) that the camp was very fun and helpful. Julia was the first person to tell me about the camp. She was going to be there coaching so I decided this was the camp I would attend. I knew Coach St. was awesome and one of my friends was going to be there. It was an easy decision." 

MS: I read on the New York Milesplit page that you had to borrow a Pole for the competition. How did that happen?

Duffy: "I was not able to bring any poles because the poles I use belong to Brenner Abbott (my club coach). I had talked to Coach St. and he told me that there was a boy there (Derek DiBona) who had the pole I needed to be on. Derek was gracious enough to let me use his pole for the meet. It all worked out in the end."

MS: Tell us a little about how you felt and why you had such a fantastic day at the Flying Circus BBQ Meet.

Duffy: "I knew it was going to be a good day. I just had that feeling. Despite the intense heat and having to be outside for 3 hours before my opening height, I was with a group of good vaulters and friends so it kept me in a good state of mind. Other than my attitude during the competition, the big part of my I was able to do so well (besides the coaching) was the runway. It was very fast and I was able run do very well on it. My step was about 3 feet behind what it usually is which means I was doing something right."

MS: Do you belong to a local Pole Vault Club?

Duffy:  "I am a part of the New England Pole Vault Club coached by Brenner Abbott. I vault there about once a week. One of my friends, Joe Vetere, brought be there in the spring of my sophomore year to help me get better. It worked better than I had ever thought it would."

MS: How did you get interested in the Pole Vault?

Duffy:  "I was a competitive gymnast for twelve years. In my last season I broke both of my feet and strained my neck within a span of three months. My sister's high school track coach had told me that if I ever quit gymnastics, that he wanted me to vault for him. I went to one practice and loved it. That was in seventh grade. Once I got to high school I started vaulting for real and loved it even more. It was an easy transfer from gymnastics. All gymnasts make great pole vaulters."

MS: What is next on your agenda? Are you pretty much done until next winter?

Duffy:  " I am competing this Friday at USATF New Engalnd's at Holy Cross. Hopefully that meet goes well. After that I will just be practicing every week with Brenner until school. I am one of the captains of my high school soccer team so it will be hard to get to practice while we are in season but I am going to try my hardest to get some training in so i do not lose all my progress. Once the winter starts I can vault more and start going to open meets. Those are my favorite."

More Notes from the BBQ Meet:

  The  Hudson Valley Flying Circus Pole Vault Adventure
    BARNYARD BBQ MEET .... July 16, 2016

       It was a happening   !!! The 2016 Circus Barnyard  Meet was filled  with UNBELIEVABLE ATHLETES...FRIENDS....SPIRIT  and FUN !!!  They say that  a gathering of pole vaulters is  a dangerous situation that sometimes needs security..... but... this  gathering was about belonging   and  friendships.   Thank you all..athletes..volunteers ..coaches  and family for a super enriched day  at Flying Circus !!!  Onto the BEACH VAULT !!!!!

      They also say that ..."RECORDS are only borrowed..."   
  ..... Here are some of the NEW RECORDS from BBQ Meet.
       *  Record  101 Vaulters taking it up  (old Record 82 Vaulters in 2015 meet)
       *  7 New Meet Division Records !!!!!
       *  Record 37 Personal All Time Personal  Best Performances !!!!
       *  Record...  11 Water-Mellons Consumed....Easily!!!!!
       *  New  Boys High School Record...ERICK DUFFY(North Andover,MASS)  16' 6" (New MASS STATE RECORD for this Junior)
       *  3 Runways At the Same time with LAUGHTER  ABOUNDING !!!!!
       *  BEST MUSIC ..ON -the-PLANET !!!!!

        Here are the Results ...
         Girls AM Meet ( 47 Girls) Prizes donated  by Jerry Cahill's You Can Not Fail Foundation  and Katherine Duffy's State Farm Insurance !!
         The  Fireworks was lit   by Chloe Pasek(West Milford,NJ) winning the Elementary School Championship  at 7' 6" Meet Record...It shifted to Genevieve "Sunshine" Reilly (Warwick,NY)  taking the Middle School crown at 9' 6"... then all eyes were on Francesca Porambo(Basking Ridge,NJ)  winning the Frosh/Soph Division at a meet record 11' 0" for her coaching dad Carl...The High School Division of Girls came down to Governor Livingston,NJ  junior..Leah Saifi  setting a New BB Record of 12' 2" to edge Wilkes Barre,PA Junior  Madisyn Hawkins who also blasted over 12' 0".... The Open Women's gold went to Emily Shipley(Hillsbough,NJ) at 12' 0"  and Flying Circus  Wonder  Stephanie Duffy won the Coaches Division   at 12' 0" by a ton..then retired!!!!

  Full Results:
   Elementary School - Chloe Pasek(West Milford)  7' 6" Meet Record!!!
   Middle School- Genevieve Reilly(Warwick) 9' 6"  Meet Record !!! Sasha Kiniova(Rochester,NY) 8' 0"  Hannah Solomon-Hollander(Suffern,NY) 8' 0"  Madeline Sorensen(Warwick,NY) 6' 6"  Billie Finn(Warwick,NY) 6' 6"

  Frosh/Soph Division - Francesca Porambo(Basking Ridge,NJ) 11' 0" Meet Record !!!  Kaeli "Sparky" Thompson(warwick,NY)   10' 6"PR  Alanna Carroll(Averill Park,NY)  10' 6"  Caroline McGann(Old Tappan) 10' 0"  Blythe Hehmeyer(Montville,NJ) 10' 0"  Nicole Lester(Ridgewood,NJ) 10' 0"  Rachael Bussanich(Wayne,NJ)10' 0"  Sydney Shannon(Clifton,NJ) 9' 0"  Katherine Sandt(PascackValley,NJ) 8' 6"   Sachi Sharp(Rochester,NY) 8' 6"  Andreen Reid (Wilton,CT) 7' 0"  Anna Rava(Wilton,CT) 6' 6" Dakari Chemault(Queens,NY) 6' 6'

 High School Division - Leah Saifi(Mountainside,NJ) 12' 2" Meet Record !!!  Madisyn Hawkins(Wilkes Barre,PA)  12' 0"  Jessica Ippolito)FairLawn,NJ) 11' 6"  Julia Valenti(North Reading,MASS) 11' 0"  Taylor Jones(Fairfax Station,VA) 10' 6"  Maxine Earl(Ridgewood,NJ) 10' 6"  Ali Moraveck(Monroe,CT) 10' 0"  Amanda Tatz(Wyckoff,NJ) 10' 0"  Grace Gardella(Ramsey,NJ) 10' 0"  Katie DeBrosse(Raleigh,NC) 9' 0"  Julia Nomberg(Deer Park,NY) 9' 0"  Gabrielle Chencult(Queens,NY) 9' 0"  Gabi Ruiz(Raleigh,NC) 8' 0"  Diana Presutti(Wallkill,NY) 7' 0"

  Open Women Division -  Emily Shipley(Hillsbough,NJ)  12' 0"   Stephanie Duffy(Monroe,NY) 12' 0"   Lauren McDonald(Fairfield,NJ) 11' 6"  Marisa Robbins(Goshen,NY) 11' 6"  Gabrielle Attanasio(Suffield,CT)  11' 6"   Samantha Beyar(Monroe,NY) 11' 0"  Kayla Leahey(Warwick,NY) 10' 6"  Danielle Cruichshank(Succasuma,NJ) 10' 0" Maurin O'Connor(Albany,NY) 9' 0"  Hearther Erichsson(Monroe,NY) 9' 0"

    Boys/Men's Meet..PM...In the Heat of the Day!!!!
      Exciting happen when you DREAM BIG....In the High School Division...There is now.."A NEW KID ON THE POLE VAULT BLOCK"... North Andover High School junior  ERICK DUFFY flew 16' 6"  for a NEW MASS STATE RECORD  ..using just a borrowed UCS Spirit 15' x 190 from former Meet record holder Derek DiBona !!!!   He had  2 close bars at 16' 10" into the  slight wind on the main runway....  College Sophomore  Travis Fountain  joined the 16' Foot Club  with his win in the Open Division at 16' 1.5".... Jordan Yamoah(kingsville,TX)  jumped Exhibition over 16' 6" for the fans    and Mark Cortazzo of Vault Factory dedicated his Personal best of 13' 6.5" to his former  Coach-  Paul Richard....Middle School, Champ as Louis Martinez(WallkillMS,NY) at 9' 0"   and Jake Pasek(Mahwah,NJ) west an Elementary School 
 record of 6' 6" for the family sweep!!!