The Student News Site of Camas High School

The Camasonian

The Camasonian

The Camasonian

Student Spotlight: Chase McGee

McGee clears 15 feet 11 inches and gets first at the Oregon Relays.

On April 21, 2024, Cams High School (CHS) junior track athlete Chase McGee took first place in pole vaulting at the Oregon Relays event while breaking the school record. Six days later, McGee broke his own record once again, setting the record at 16 feet 1 inch. 

McGee stands beside a custom sign to celebrate his achievement.

“Chase is the highest finisher I’ve ever had,” pole vault coach Dan Kietly said. “He got the school record of 15 feet 11 inches and the previous record was 15 feet 6 inches in 2007.”

“I’ve been doing the pole vault since the beginning of freshman year. My sister was the one who got me into pole vaulting,” McGee said. “After breaking 16 feet 1 inch I had a lot of clearance and with the size of poles I’ve been on lately I don’t think it will be long ‘til I get another record.”

McGee started his pole vaulting career only two years before his achievement, so he has put a lot of work into this event to make it this far. 

“Chase and I broke the freshman pole vault records on the same day,” junior track athlete Karina Cooper said. “It takes a very specific kind of person to be a pole vaulter, but that is what makes it so unique and enjoyable.”

Pole vaulting is a daunting event to most because you are high up in the air with no guarantee that you will be saved if you fail. To athletes such as Cooper and McGee, that thrill makes it fun.

“I love being able to launch myself into the air,” Cooper said. “The risk is something I am accustomed to, and makes the event so much more exciting.”

“After you take off into the pole it almost goes blank because it happens so fast until you start falling back down,” McGee said. “But it’s the best feeling when you’re falling and you know you cleared the bar.”

McGee is not only the pole vault record holder for CHS but is also a full-time running start student, pursuing college credit.

Chase celebrates immediately after clearing 16 feet 1 inch.

“Having a very flexible schedule with being online helps, [because] if things come up like a meet I’m able to not miss much class,” McGee said.

McGee attributes some of his success to having the support of those around him.

“Someone who’s helped me reach these higher heights is my Coach Dan Keilty,” McGee said. “I trust in him to help me make the right call with what I should do when the pressure is on and trying to make the next bar.”

“He is very humble and [gives] me advice on how I can improve my jumps in practice,” Cooper said. “I hope that by next year, we can both hold the CHS pole vaulting records together just like we started with our freshman records.”

“[McGee] is on track to do some pretty big things,” Kietly said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Troy Siemers
Troy Siemers, Staff Writer

Comments (0)

All The Camasonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *