State Track and Field: Hoff resets PR, claims pole vault championship


For as long as Lucas Hoff has been pole vaulting, he’s had one mainstay in his coaching corner.

Longtime W.F. West pole vault coach Don Rinta is retiring at the end of the track and field season after coaching for more than four decades.

“He has been a mentor to me,” Hoff said. “An example of someone who I strive to be like.”

Rinpa witnessed a state champion.

One week after missing three attempts at 14 feet, 7 inches at districts, Hoff cleared that and then-some in grabbing the Class 2A pole vault state title by his hands with a new lifetime best clearance of 14-09 on Friday afternoon at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.

“I’m so happy,” Hoff stated. “It was all part of God’s plan. It was a perfect way to end (Rinta’s) retirement.”

A year after winning state in javelin, it is Hoff’s first ever pole vault title in his state meet debut in the event. He was in a four-way battle for the title with the bar up to 14-9.

Hoff went second in the group and on his final attempt, he sailed over the bar. The last two vaulters knocked the bar over and sent Hoff into jubilation.

“I knew I put the pressure on them,” he said. “The jump before was a high enough jump, but the standards were too far back. If I moved the standards closer, I knew I’d get over it.

“I let my body take over.”

Battling several ailments never slowed down Hoff this spring. Outside of an eighth place finish at the Pasco Invite and second at districts, he’s been victorious in the pole vault every other time.

Already with a medal from javelin, the senior will try to go 3-for-3 on Saturday in the high jump.

And it will be the final time he jumps for the Bearcats.

“I’m not as sad about it as I was for basketball,” Hoff said.

Tumwater’s two long jumpers – David Malroy and Aaron Paul – ended up on the podium.

Malroy placed fifth with a best leap of 21 feet even and Paul earned seventh with a jump of 20-10.75.

Both had opposite days in the pit.

Malroy unleashed his best jump first, but maintained consistency the rest of the way, just one jump under 20 feet. Paul scratched two jumps and hit his medal-winning jump on his last attempt.