RISING Jefferson senior Mason Hamrick is certainly making a name for himself in the realm of track and field.
The class AA state champion pole-vaulter recently took first place at the Georgia Games this summer in Marietta, which qualified him for the State Games of America in Hershey, Pa.
After setting a personal record of 15-feet at the Georgia Olympics last May, Hamrick went a step further at the Georgia Games by clearing 15-2 and sealing a first-place finish in the state.
Hamrick said the summer had been pretty slow for him up until the week before the Georgia Games. He attended a pole-vaulting camp at Georgia Tech in Atlanta prior to the event, and admittedly went into the games fatigued.
“I was completely worn out,” Hamrick said. “I just went in there with the mindset that I was just going to jump. I just had to get my confidence up.”
Hamrick noted the strength of the competition at the Georgia Games.
“I had seen some of the competition before,” Hamrick added. “I knew they were good.”
That competition included class AAA state champion Tray Oates, who squared off with Hamrick for first place.
But after Hamrick cleared 15-2, he sealed the deal and earned the honor of being the sole pole vault representative (17-18 men’s division) from Georgia at the State Games of America.
Hamrick and his family made the trip by car to Pennsylvania on August 2.
Hamrick cleared 14-6 in the competition, earning himself a second-place finish in the national event.
While Hamrick says he would have been happier with a better height, he relished the opportunity just to compete on the national stage.
“The experience was enough for me,” he added.
While the rising senior has one more year of high school eligibility, Hamrick already has his sights on the next level.
“I’m not ready to stop,” said Hamrick. “I would love to go on and compete in college.”
Hamrick says he is currently interested in programs at Georgia Tech and the University of Tennessee. But to make his case, Hamrick wants to meet his goal of averaging around the 16-feet mark.
“I know I’m going to have to train hard and push myself,” he said.