BY TIM MORRIS
BY TIM MORRIS
RALEIGH, N.C. — National champion.
"Just hearing it is so cool," said Ocean Township’s Adam Sarafian, who can claim that title after winning the pole vault at last weekend’s Adidas Outdoor Track and Field Championships at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
It took just three jumps for Sarafian to be crowned national champion in Raleigh.
The state champion and record holder entered the competition at 15-5, making it on his first attempt. He passed at 15-9 and won the title at 16-0 3/4, clearing it on his second attempt. With no one else getting over the bar at that height, the title was Sarafian’s.
For once, the Spartan was happy that he didn’t have to jump any higher.
"At Adidas I was starting to feel that it’s been a long season," he said. "After I won at 16 feet, I was glad that it was over.
It has been a very long season for Sarafian, who has been jumping at a high level since January, and it has begun to take its toll. Just the week before, he was out in Sacramento, Calif., for the Golden West Invitational (which he won), and it took him some time to recover from the jet lag. He was tired traveling to Raleigh, but put everything behind him once the competition started.
"I was a little more focused because it was a national meet," noted Sarafian, whose state record 17-4 1/2 vault is the best in the nation this year.
Sarafian relied on what he has learned through experience this season to pull him through at the Adidas championships.
"I’ve learned to take it one jump at a time," he explained. "I used to plan out a height progression, but you can’t get caught up thinking about the next height or your next jump. Just get over the bar and don’t worry about form."
The long season, in which the University of Georgia recruit has accomplished so much — setting the state record, winning the state championship and Golden West Invitational, earning All-American recognition and now adding the Adidas national title — may finally be catching up to Sarafian, but he wants his astounding season to go on for two more meets. He’s not ready to stop having fun, which, to him, is every time he is pole vaulting.
Today, he is jumping at the Junior National Championships (19-and-under) in College Station, Texas, home to Texas A&M University. If he finishes in the top two there, he will make the U.S. Junior National Team that will compete at the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Grosetto, Italy, July 9-13.
"I want two more meets," Sarafian said. "Texas, Italy, and then sleep."
All-American honors for
RBR relay team
Also at Raleigh, the quartet of Rob Dennis, Joe Kingsbery, Steve Waite and Mike Siciliano made their final scholastic races memorable.
Teaming up one last time, the foursome, which has meant so much to Red Bank Regional High School, earned All-America honors in the 4×1-mile relay. The quartet posted a 17:35.86 in finishing fifth. Shenendehowa, N.Y., won the race in 17:25.32.
Dennis, Kingsbery, Waite and Siciliano have been responsible for bringing state championships, both team and individual, to Little Silver during their highly productive careers.
This winter, at the national indoor championships at the Armory in New York City, they set the state indoor record in the 4×1-mile (17:28.88) in finishing second to Shenendehowa’s national record (17:25.98).
The Bucs also ran under the old national mark that night.