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Sometimes before her youth swimming lessons at East Lyme High School, Allison Londregan would stop a minute and watch East Lyme's pole vaulters practicing. It was something she always wanted to try, well before she was a student at St. Bernard High School.
It wasn't until last year, as a junior at St. Bernard, that Londregan gave vaulting a shot.
And she promptly failed to clear a height at the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium/Small Division Championships at the Coast Guard Academy.
"That was really bad," Londregan said. "I've never not cleared something before."
Then came Saturday. Same event. Same venue.
"I was nervous coming here," Londregan said. "I was really nervous. … Russ (VerSteeg, local pole vault coach) wasn't here today and I didn't know what I was doing wrong."
Londregan won with a leap of 9-0 feet, the only disappointment coming in the fact she was hoping to clear a personal best of 9-6.
Londregan, who also made it to the finals of the 55-meter hurdles on Saturday but did not place, will compete in the pole vault at Friday's Class S state meet at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven. This time, she's hoping to qualify for the State Open.
"She started because she thought, 'That looks really cool, I want to try that,'" said St. Bernard's Sue Griffin, who coaches Londregan in cross country, as well as serving as one of the Saints' indoor track coaches along with Brad Columbus.
"… She's a great little athlete. She's really coachable. She's a great energy kid."
The schedule for this week's state meets, all at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven, is as follows:
- Thursday, NFA at Class LL, 4 p.m.
- Friday, Grasso Tech, Griswold, Lyman Memorial, Montville girls, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, St. Bernard, Stonington girls at Class S, 4 p.m.
- Saturday, East Lyme girls, Fitch at Class L, 10 a.m.
- Saturday, Bacon Academy, East Lyme boys, Ledyard, Montville boys, New London, Stonington boys, Waterford boys at Class M, 4:30 p.m.