Meridian's boys' track and field star Connor Aamot's didn't know if he would ever pole vault again. He had suffered from a broken leg in practice last season and the road back wasn't easy.
But winning a state title on Friday, May 30, at Eastern Washington University was the payoff to all the work it took him to get back. And Aamot did in school-record fashion. Clearing 14-feet broke the record he set just last week and was a new all-time high for the senior.
"It's a special accomplishment for him," Meridian coach Patrick Ames said in a phone interview. "He fought through all the suffering and misery. Just to get hurt doing something you love and get back and compete is incredible, let alone winning a championship."
The hardest part for Aamot? The mental side.
"It's a scary thing going over it (the bar) again," Aamot said in a phone interview. "It was a lot of work and determination but eventually I just got over it."
The state title also meant Aamot lived up to the name.
His brother, Kyle, won a state championship in high school and the rivalry between the two has helped Aamot push himself harder. But despite the friendly competition, Aamot kept his eyes on the prize.
"To do my best, I have to be focused on what you're doing and not what other are doing," Aamot said.
Ending his senior year on a high note makes the championship all the sweeter.
"It just shows all the work was worth it," Aamot said. "Looking back, I gave it my all and didn't hold back. I didn't let an injury come in my way."