When you think of Benjamin Cardozo HS, Pole Vault may not be the first event that comes to mind. That may change in the future, as sophomore Liliana Cohen just set both the PSAL and NYC record for the event.
Jumping at the Marine Corps Classic, Cohen took second place behind a strong performance by PA's Abby Norwillo. Despite finishing a foot and a half behind the Keystone State standout, Cohen accomplished something that had never been done before. In clearing 11-7, she became the highest vaulter in city history, both indoors and outdoors.
Not only does that include athletes from the PSAL, but the Catholic HS city schools as well. It also breaks into the NY #25 All-Time for the event, right at #25.
Cohen had originally been a distance runner, with respectible personal bests of 4:47.18 in the 1500m and 2:19 in the 800m. But Coach Ray James saw something in her natural ability, and shifted her over to the Pole Vault last spring. A good decision, as she has been shooting up under the specialized coaching, and is quickly gaining in the ranks. Focusing solely on the event this year, she has jumped 11-0 four times so far, before hitting the record mark this past weekend.
Expect to see more from Cohen, as she has the rest of the season to improve, plus two more years on top of that.