High Flying And Fast Times Lead To Howard's PV State Record

Photo Credit: MileSplit New York 

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Neil Howard (Taconic Hills) is a busy guy.

He's already set the decathlon state record, the pentathlon record indoors and competes well for his swim team indoors.

But pole vault has been his first love, setting the freshman state record in the event back in 2021. The same year he watched a New Yorker clear 17-feet for the first time ever.

And now, four years later, it's his name atop the record lists.

At the Warwick Fast Times Invite, Howard became the highest vaulter the state has ever seen, clearing a bar of 17-1.25. That's just a quarter inch higher than Louis Martinez (Wallkill) did back in 2021.

Both marks were aptly cleared in the town of Warwick, home to the Hudson Valley Flying Circus, a frequent training stop for both athletes.

What's more impressive is Howard's range outside the event.

He currently is the state leader in three events. However, he ranked inside New York's top two in six events: The 200m (21.54), 400m (47.01), 400H (52.18), LJ (23-9.5 legal wind), PV (17-1.25) and Pent (3615).

It might be why he was chosen as the male New York representative in the Nike Elite Program.

He may be the first athlete we've ever had that has been limited to the number of state titles he could reasonably win by the 'four event maximum' rule.

But as it stands, he is the best to ever do it over the high bar in the vault.