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Crum wins at Midwest Meet of Champions

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REPRESENTING INDIANA: Colton Crum displays his Team Indiana jersey while standing atop the podium at the Midwest Meet of Champions.
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CHAMPION: Frankfort High School graduate Colton Crum stands atop the podium after winning the pole vault at Saturday’s Midwest Meet of Champions in East Lansing, Michigan.
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TEAM INDIANA: Colton Crum and the rest of Team Indiana won the Midwest Meet of Champions, scoring 200 team points compared to 153 for Michigan and 120 for Ohio.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

One week after bringing a state championship back to Frankfort High School – the first for the school since Chase Thompson won one in wrestling in 2003 – recently graduate Colton Crum represented Indiana well with a win in the pole vault at the Midwest Meet of Champions on Saturday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.

Surprisingly, in a meet featuring state champions, runners-up and third-place finishers from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, Crum was able to take first place in the Midwest Meet of Champions with a height of 15 feet and 6 inches.

While that may sound high to some, Crum had won the West Lafayette Sectional with a meet-record jump of 17-4, cleared a meet record 17-2 to win the Lafayette Jefferson Regional and set a state record of 17-6.25 at the State Finals seven days earlier.

Actually, two other jumpers, Michigan’s Eric Harris and Ohio’s Austin Goolsby, also cleared 15-6 but did so with their third attempt while Crum was able to clear the height on his second attempt. None of the three were able to clear 16-0 in three attempts.

“I didn’t jump very high, but a win is a win,” Crum said. “The facility was not very adequate at all. It was kind of a bummer to see such a terrible place to pole vault. I don’t think (they) should hold that meet there any longer at Michigan State until the facility gets an update. I came into the meet with some guys who are relatively good competition but, unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating, and it rained throughout the day. The facility was also not up to par to attempt a record-breaking jump.”

Crum’s most-ambitious goal this year is to clear 18 feet, and he will now not be able to accomplish that as a high schooler.

“I have an injury from this past week from the poor facilities,” Crum said. “I actually tweaked my hamstring a little bit, so I am not actually going to jump much the rest of the summer. My father, coach (Tony) Heath and I all know that 18 feet is all around the corner whether it is this August or it comes next week.”

Crum will arrive on the campus of Notre Dame University later this summer, where he will compete for the Fighting Irish.

“The season is coming up rapidly,” he said. “After wrapping up the state meet, we want to go into a resting period soon to let my body get ready for the fall season.”

After carrying the American flag for Team Indiana during the opening ceremony, Crum’s 10 points for first place in the pole vault contributed to Team Indiana’s win in the men’s meet. Indiana finished with 200 points compared to 153 for Michigan and 120 for Ohio.

“We scored 200 points, I enjoyed the other Indiana athletes, and I was happy that I could contribute to winning as a team,” Crum said. “I think I was the first Frankfort athlete to ever win the meet, which was cool. It was, overall, a fun experience. After coming back from the state meet with all the energy we have, the whole community has been wonderful. The support that this whole movement has brought has been humbling. I am lucky to have a community so supportive of athletics. As far as athletic and academics, I can’t wait to represent Frankfort to the best of my ability.”