14-0! Lilly Nichols Clears Colorado Pole Vault State Record


Lilly Nichols couldn't believe it. 

She cupped her hands to her face and fell to the ground as the crowd erupted. Her eyes watered over, but it didn't matter. 

The Broomfield senior had just cleared 14-0 in the pole vault on Day One of the Colorado State Track and Field Championships to reclaim the 5A state title - in a new Colorado state record.

It was about as great of an ending for Nichols' high school career. 

A third state title - and a Colorado state record?

Yes, please. 

But let's go back in time so we can further appreciate the present...

It's been a long time coming for Nichols.

She's been great for years

She was the 5A state champion in the pole vault as a freshman, a sophomore, a runner-up as a junior, and - once again a state champion as a senior - in record fashion. 

The performance took down Andrew Willis' 13-9 state record from 2016.

How It All Played Out: A Day Of Perfection On The Runway

As impressive as Nichols' 14-0 feet clearance was, so to was the day as a whole for her. 

Nichols came in at 12-2, soaring well over the bar. In that one clearance she had shed herself from any other competitors, leaving only herself, and the bar. 

The Broomfield senior went on to clear 13-0 with ease, as well as 13-2. 

Then the pivotal moment came - an attempt at 13-7, which would add an inch to her previous personal best of 13-6. 

And once again, Nichols soared well over the bar. 

With three clean clearances in just three attempts, and her confidence soaring just as high as she was, the bar was set at 13-9.25, which would be a new state record.

And you guessed it - Nichols kept on flying to the cheers of the crowd on her first attempt. She clasped her hands to her mouth in disbelief, and relief. 

History was made in that moment, but Nichols wasn't done writing. 

(And neither am I...)

Photo by Jen Jardeleza


With the state record in her hands, as well as a massive PR, the bar moved onwards into new digits - 14-0. 

Nichols cleared the bar as the crowed erupted once more. And once more Nichols couldn't believe it. 


"I was so excited just to get 13-7, which was my PR, and then I made 13-9 (.25), and then 14..." she said afterwards, holding back tears of joy. "I'm pretty sure this is all a dream right now."

The clearance was (obviously) a Colorado No. 1, but also tied for a US No. 3

Nichols' day was the culmination of an incredible season which saw her clear 13-feet 13 of 14 times, and 14-feet once

And her season was the culmination of an impressive high school career which saw her break the Broomfield school record in her first high school meet, win state as a freshman, and clear 13-3.5, win state as as sophomore, and clear 13-4, endure a challenging junior season where she was the state runner-up, and clear 12-7. 

She capped her high school career not just with redemption, but with a historic, record-breaking state title.