Courtesy Photo/Teagen Ewings
Patterson vaults over the bar at at track meet.
During his freshman year of high school Senior Wyatt Patterson decided to try out pole vaulting along with some of his friends. Little did he know that two years later he would be consistently placing first place at every event and breaking school record after school record.
“In all honesty it just seemed like a lot of fun,” Patterson said. “During my freshman year a lot of my friends were doing it so I just decided to do it along with them. I’ve been competing in pole vault ever since.”
Patterson works weekly throughout the year to hone his skills and consistently improve.
“I practice six days a week,” Patterson said. “I jump three days a week and then the other three I run. During the off season, I do club track and field and then also compete for the school.”
During the Spring 2023 season, Patterson not only broke the school record once but twice.
“I beat the school record originally with a height 13 ft 10 in at the Seacoast Champion Meet. Then I beat it again with 14 feet at a decathlon,” Patterson said. “It was exciting to beat the record, especially because it stood for so long. What made it even better is that the jump was also a meet record and the previous holder was at the meet and I got to beat it in front of him.”
Unfortunately a record wasn't the only thing Patterson broke during the Spring 2023 season.
“I broke my nose during the season as well,” Patterson said. “As small as an injury as it may seem, I had to completely relearn how to breathe out of my mouth while having to run which was really difficult. I kept going though I didn’t let it stop me.”
Patterson said he has seen significant gains over the past two years and is going to continue to push himself.
“I saw myself improve a lot. During my sophomore year, I was only jumping about 12 feet,” Patterson said. “Now I have hit 14 feet. I want to break it (my record) again though; my goal is 15 feet.”
Assistant Track Coach Greg Duffy said he also has seen Wyatt improve significantly over the past couple of years.
“He had jumped 9 ft as a freshman at his former high school and immediately improved his sophomore year at WHS with a jump of 12',” Duffy said. “With a sound foundation to build from, going into his Junior year we focused toward the areas of improvement in speed, take-off and overall strength. This work paid off for Wyatt as he went undefeated for the entire Spring 2023 Outdoor Track season.”
Patterson said he wouldn't have been able to advance as much as he did without his coaches.
“Coach Duffy has pretty much taught me how to pole vault from beginning to now,” Patterson said. “Both Coach Duffy and Coach Saltmarsh have always kept me motivated and let me know when I’m doing good, but also when I need to work on things.”
Both Patterson’s mom Lindsey Patterson and Duffy expressed how extremely proud they are of Patterson and looking forward to what he has in store. Lindsey Patterson said her son’s record breaking moments were special.
“When you’re a parent, there’s nothing better than when your child’s dreams come true,” Lindsey Patterson said. “We are proud of Wyatt for so many reasons; his success in track and field has been a joy to watch and we are so grateful to his coaches and teammates.”
Duffy also said he was very impressed with Wyatt Patterson but also made sure to remind him of an even bigger lesson.
“The moment he broke the record I was happy for him, however, if you're breaking records it means you're having a good day of competition so I tried to keep him in the moment and not get too distracted as this was an opportunity to get an even higher bar with his next attempts,” Duffy said. “In the end we all high-fived and celebrated once he had finished. It was a great accomplishment as well as a great mental block to conquer.”
Wyatt Patterson said he’s received recruitment information from numerous colleges including Bowdoin University, College of the Holy Cross, University of New Hampshire and Colby College.
Wyatt Patterson said that the fact colleges reached out to him to compete over him is something he never imagined but is definitely looking forward to.
“Coming in freshman year I never expected it to be something I would be that good at,” Patterson said.”Looking back it was definitely not something I expected to do in college but now I really hope it’s something I can do.”