Canyon pole vaulter qualifies for state after CIF-SS Meet

Canyon's Christian Valles sprints down the runway during the boys pole vault at the CIF Southern Section Masters meet at El Camino College in Torrance on Saturday. © Katharine Lotze/Special to the Signal

TORRANCE — Getting the crowd to clap with him on his third and final attempt in the boys pole vault at a height of 16-03, Canyon’s Christian Valles was amped to be competing at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet at El Camino College on Saturday.

“Everyone knows each other, including all the parents and coaches, so I started a clap because it amps you up with everyone joining in on the cheering since we are all trying to make it through to state,” Valles said.

Missing his third try at 16-03, Valles still set a personal record, clearing 15-09 in his third attempt.

Valles finished fourth behind Skyler Magula of Marina and Tiber Seireeni of Harvard-Westlake, who both cleared 15-09 on their second attempt, and Mason Gariepy of Mission Viejo, who, like Valles, cleared 15-09 on his final jump.

“It feels amazing that I can come to a new school and still be able to be successful and have a good time jumping,” Valles said.

Christian Valles of Canyon pole vaults at the CIF-Southern Section Masters meet at El Camino College in Torrance on Saturday. © Katharine Lotze/Special to the Signal

Qualifying for state with his personal record set Saturday, Valles thinks that he needs to be a little cleaner through all his bars and hopefully put up a fight against the best of the best at state.

On the girls side, Amber Racina of West Ranch and Emma Rudolph of Golden Valley also took part in the pole vault. Rudolph was able to clear the first two heights at 10-11 (first attempt) and 11-05 (second attempt), but had trouble clearing the third at 11-11 and finished in eleventh-place.

“I’m really glad that I made it this far because me and Amber have been working super, super hard,” Rudolph said. “Even if we didn’t get to state we both put an equal amount of effort to get here.”

Racina had a little trouble on the day and bowed out after no-heighting at 10-11.

Only a sophomore, Racina will have a crack at next year and is already preparing.

“I need to continue practicing by jumping on bigger poles and swinging up better and perfecting my technique so I can jump a lot higher,” Racina said.

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