Apr 2022

'Pole vaulters must be quick, strong, and a little crazy': Lagura chasing new heights

By TANNER DAVIDSONCommunication By Design

There aren't many wired like Anthony Jordan Lagura, a pole vaulter at Sierra High School.

Track assistant coach Craig Bingham oversees the pole vaulters at Sierra and has only coached Lagura for one year. Still, he sees the raw talent. Lagura, who goes by his middle name “Jordan,” transferred from James Lick High in the Bay Area.

“Jordan is what we would call springy," Bingham said. "We could tell he was athletic, but he was very raw."

Lagura has skill as well as dedication. He has been competing in track and field for about six years now. He started when he was in seventh grade and has competed consistently through to his senior year. Bingham doesn’t think this will be Lagura's last year vaulting, either. He believes Jordan can compete at the next level.

The numbers validate Bingham's evaluation.

Lagura’s personal record is 12 feet, 6 inches, set at the Valley Oak League Championships in 2021. He placed third with that height. He did not qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet or the CIF State Championship, but he is nearing another personal milestone.

Lagura is chasing Sierra’s record set by Onix Paredes, a mark of 16-6. Paredes graduated in 2014.

“If Jordan wants to, he could easily compete at the junior college level. There he could get faster and stronger so he could transfer to a four-year program,” Bingham said.

Lagura not only puts in hard work on the field but also at home. He does extra training at home every day and works on something they didn’t do at practice. Bingham thinks that Jordan is willing to try new things to help him get better.

“Whatever we don’t do at practice that day, I go home, and I do whatever I need to do. If I need to work on a specific part of my body I just go home and hop into what I need to do,” Lagura said.

Not only does this sport take a lot of strength and extra practice, but this sport can also often be scary and a lot of things can go wrong.

“Pole vaulters must be quick, strong, and a little crazy," Bingham said. "They must be quick to have enough momentum to put into the pole. Then they must have a strong core to be able to swing upside down. They need to have strong arms and shoulders for pushing and pulling movements. They can’t be afraid of hanging upside down while their body is over 10 ft. in the air.”

Through Our Lens: Senior AJ Lagura competes in the pole vault during a Valley Oak League meet with Oakdale on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium. (ITZYANA GUEVARA/Communication By Design)