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There's a first time for everything, and junior Brooks Divine is Marion County High School's first state champion in track and field.
On Friday, Divine cleared 13 feet, six inches to win the Class 2A pole vault at the 2012 state track meet held Friday at the University of Louisville's Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park.
Divine was aware that he had a chance to make history going into the meet.
"It's a big deal. No one has ever won a state championship medal from Marion County track," he said.
Four Marion County athletes had finished as the state runner-up. David Bell was runner-up in pole vault in 1978, Jute Bell in the high jump in 1994, Tim O'Hare in the pole vault in 1994 and 1995, and Jeremy Yates in pole vault in 2002.
Divine had some serious competition in the event, and his win did not come easy. Justin Wynne from Paducah Tilghman made Divine work for his title.
Both Divine and Wynne cleared 13'6". The next height that both athletes attempted to clear was 14'0". After each attempting this height the allowed three times, neither athlete was successful.
Therefore, the title was decided on how many times Divine and Wynne faulted, or did not clear, 13'6". Wynne recorded two faults while Divine missed the height only once making him the winner and state champion.
Divine has been pole vaulting for three years. He has worked closely with assistant track coach Jim O'Hare who has helped him progress in his pole vaulting technique.
O'Hare said that Divine's goal throughout the summer is to clear 15 feet, and go for the state record before the end of his senior year.
"Brooks has a fantastic work ethic," Coach O'Hare said. "He constantly wants to learn, and is very easy to coach. At times, what gets Brooks through is the fact that he is such a great athlete."
Currently Divine holds the Marion County High School record for pole vault at 14'6"
"Next year, I want to break the state record for pole vault," he said.
The state record of 16 feet was set in 2003.
Divine also qualified for the state track meet in the 110-meter hurdles and the long jump, although he only completed in the pole vault and the hurdles on Friday.
Divine finished eighth in the hurdles in 15.80 seconds, which placed him among the medal winners.
Divine also holds the school record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.35, breaking the old record of 15.56 set in 1983.
This summer, Divine will be training for a decathlon through a USATF club, which he described as similar to an AAU team in basketball. After training with this club, Divine will be attending the region five meet in Cedarville, Ohio, from July 5-8. Divine will also be competing in the pole vault separately, even though pole vault is one of the 10 decathlon events. The decathlon will be a two-day event with the 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, and 400-meter dash being completed on the first day. The 110-meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin, and 1500 meter run will be on the second day.
If Divine places in the top five, he will qualify for the junior Olympics July 23-29 in Baltimore, Md.
"My goal for next year is to get a scholarship for track and field," he said. "I couldn't have done what I did this year without people cheering me on, and I want to thank my coaches, family, and everyone who supported me."