Germany Athletics Europeans

LSU's Mondo Duplantis, representing his mother's home country of Sweden, celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's pole vault final at the European Athletics Championships in August. Duplantis set a 2019 world best of 19 feet, 3 inches in his first home meet Friday night in the Carl Maddox Field House.

The collegiate indoor record will have to wait for LSU pole vault phenom Mondo Duplantis.

For now, the school record and 2019 world lead will have to do for the 19-year-old freshman from Lafayette.

One week after getting three shots at the collegiate mark of 19 feet, 4¾ inches, Duplantis gave himself three more opportunities at the record Friday night in the Bayou Bengal Invitational in the Carl Maddox Field House.

But after missing three times at 19-5 a week ago, Duplantis couldn’t get the record even though he barely hit the bar on the way down on his final attempt as a big crowd urged him on.

It wasn’t a bad night at all, however.

Duplantis’ winning mark of 19-3 broke his own school record of 19-1½ that he set last Friday at the Razorback Invitational and it made him the No. 2 all-time collegiate performer behind only the 19-4¾ set by Akron’s Shawn Barber in 2016. Texas’ Jacob Davis had held the second spot at 19-2¼.

It was also the world leader for Duplantis, the European champion last summer when he jumped 19-10¼ for his mother’s home country of Sweden.

Since it was a regular-season meet, Duplantis said he tried a longer approach, going form 18 steps to 20 to reach his takeoff point.

“Because it wasn’t an NCAA meet or a championship meet, we focused on the newer approach to be able to jump 19-3,” Duplantis said. “It was amazing to do that in front of my family and a lot of friends, so the world leader was the cherry on top.

“It was a big adrenalin rush … it was amazing,” he added, noting that he had some butterflies before the competition. “It was my first time in an LSU uniform in front of the home crowd. It always seemed so far away, so it was a dream-come-true.”

He entered the competition at 18-1¼ and easily made that on his first attempt. He made 18-7¼ on his third attempt, then passed at 18-11 before clearing 19-3 on his second try.

“I was a little tired,” he said of missing the collegiate record. “It wasn’t the main thing to jump (19-5) today, so 19-3 was a great mark for today. We figured some things out.”

With coach Dennis Shaver taking most of his sprinters and hurdlers to run on the banked track at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, Duplantis was one of five winners for the LSU program on Friday night — all by the Lady Tigers.

Zakiya Denoon won the 60 meters with a time of 7.49 seconds, Abby O’Donoghue won the high jump at 5-10¾, Kyndal McKnight took the triple jump title with a leap of 40-2¾ and Annie Jung won the 3,000 meters in 10 minutes, 46.68 seconds.


Follow Sheldon Mickles on Twitter, @MicklesAdvocate.