WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For this week’s competitive campaign, we return to last weekend’s Kansas High School Track Meet at Cessna Stadium. There were many who shone on the brightest stage, but Andover Central’s pole vault standout Ashton Barkdull managed to rise above the competition and the history books .
“I was like, ‘Well, I guess we’ll see how it goes,'” Ashton explained. “And the next thing I knew, I was in the air and I was looking down and I was over the bar and I emptied the bar and I was like, ‘Holy shit, I just did that.'”
He released a landing of 16 feet, 7 inches and a quarter.
That joy could be because pole vaulting isn’t something Barkdull has been doing for so long.
“I was watching them do it there and after about a week I was like, ‘I bet this could do it. It was last year. The person who introduced me would have been my dad, he did it at Wichita State University,” Ashton said.
“I’m glad he decided to go this route because now he can focus 100% on something he can potentially be the best at,” added Ryan Barkdull, Ashton’s father.
Ashton wasn’t the only Barkdull making waves, his younger brother Bryce, a sophomore from Andover Central, won the silver medal.
Their father says these two athletes have shown incredible commitment.
“After track training every day this fall, Ashton, Bryce and a few other kids were in the weight room,” Ryan said. “Training normally ended at 5:15-5:30 p.m. for everyone else, they hadn’t even finished their workouts and were out of the weight room until 6:45 p.m. sometimes.”