Jaimie House will undoubtedly have the attention of all of her competitors in the Class 4A pole vault today as she looks to win her third state championship in the event. But the athletes most closely tracking the El Dorado junior's progress may not even be in the same class.
Bishop Carroll's Cara Detmer is a friend and a rival of House. Even though she will be competing in Class 5A, Detmer wants to come out as the top girls pole vaulter in the state. That means she will have to keep an eye on what Drue Davis from Lawrence Free State, who set a state-best mark of 12 feet, 8 inches in regionals .
"When I found out that the girl from Lawrence jumped 12-8, I was like, 'It really makes me want to do better than her, even though she's not in my class,' " House said. "I'm still competitive like that no matter what class. If they're going higher, then I want to go higher, too."
House, however, will not let her aspirations for breaking the state record take away from her goal as repeating as 4A champ.
"Drue has been battling back and forth with Jaimie all year," City League pole vault coach Dennis Fraizer said. "They're real good friends, which makes it even better. When they get together, it makes it a friendly rivalry, which is what it should be. It pushes them both to jump higher. Even though they're in different classes, it's fun to watch when they get together."
The Detmer and House friendly rivalry also has a history. They have competed in multiple meets against each other this year, with House winning each time.
"Neither one wants to lose to the other," Fraizer said. "They jump together in the summertime, and they jump together in the wintertime. It's nice that they're all getting along."
Detmer finished third at state last year with a 10-foot jump as a sophomore. House took first in Class 4A with a 12-foot jump, 1 1/2 feet more than her closest competitor and teammate Ashley Leckliter.
House is has also been practicing with a longer pole in preparation for state competition. She's been launching with a 13-9 pole to get that little something extra for state. El Dorado track coach Gary Melcher it's only natural for House to step her game up at this time.
"She's developed a love for the event. She enjoys it," Melcher said. "She works hard at and puts the work into it during the summer. She goes to camps and has a strong interest in excelling. She's very competitive."