Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Devin King of Sumner reacts as he beats the state record of 17'3 with 17'8 during the Boys Pole Vault 3A event at the LHSAA State Outdoor Track Meet on Saturday at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium.

Jewel Sumner pole vaulter Devin King was selected as the 2013-14 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

King cleared a state outdoor record of 17 feet, 8 inches at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State meet last month at LSU, leading the Cowboys to a second-place finish in Class 3A. He also finished first at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals held last week in Greensboro, N.C.

King’s 17-8 mark ranked No. 2 among U.S. new school competitors during the outdoor season.

The Southeastern Louisiana University signee set a national indoor record by clearing 17-10¼ at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York in March.

“Devin King is a case of the right pairing of a talented athlete with an event that suits his mentality and physical ability,” said ex-Olympian Erica Bartolina, owner of Bartolina Athletics, who is King’s personal coach in a news release. “Pole vaulting has come to him naturally from the very beginning, but he’s contributed a lot of hard work and consistency. I think he cleared 17 feet at every meet this spring.”

King maintained a B average in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteers in the Tangipahoa Parish by assisting the elderly and coaching youth track athletes.

Interestingly, it is the second straight year a pole vault competitor claimed Louisiana’s boys track award. John Curtis’ Dylan Duvio, now a competitor at Stanford, was the 2012-13 winner.

King is now eligible to win the national Gatorade award that will be announced in the weeks ahead.