By Anthony Jones
Of all of the athletic events Triad found much success at over the past decade, pole vault just may be at the top of the list. Coach Eric Postma has been a key to this success, as he coaches both Triad’s boys and girls vaulters. Recently, a pair of recent Triad pole vaulters, Claire Buck and Jadon Elliott, were named to stltoday’s Area All-Decade track and field teams.
Buck, a 2015 graduate, was named to the girls track and field All-Decade first team. She was one of the most successful athletes in Triad history, with two third place and a fifth place finish at the Illinois 2A Girls State Finals for pole vault. Also, she was the pole vault champion at the 2015 Illinois Top Times 2A Championship with a clearance of 12-6 after finishing runner-up in 2014.
Her junior year she won her IHSA Sectional in pole vault and helped her team to place in the top 15 at the IHSA 2A State Finals. She repeated as sectional champion in the pole vault senior year and went unbeaten for 7-straight meets. For the duration of her high school career, she helped lead Triad to third place or better at their IHSA Sectional each year.
Buck also had a very successful athletic career at Triad outside of pole vaulting. During her fall seasons, she was a cross country star and lettered in it all four years. She also was a strong sprinter for the team, including her being a 4-time MVC champion in the 4×100 relay.
Her pole vaulting continued at Wisconsin where she faced off against other top talents in the nation. She had a strong collegiate career, often finishing in the top ten or better. Her best performance in fact came as a freshman, when she set a personal record and placed second in the pole vault with a clearance of 12-2 1/2 (3.72m) at the Red and White Open.
Elliott, a 2019 graduate, was named to the boys track and field All-Decade third team. Jadon left a sizable impression on Triad’s track and field history. During his sophomore year, he broke the school record in the pole vault that had been held by Bob Sidener since 1970.
He broke his own record several times throughout his career until at the Madison County meet his senior year he vaulted an astounding height of 15’2”, which is now the school record. At the IHSA 2A State Finals as a senior, Jadon placed 3rd in Class 2A. This was his best finish at the state finals as he had finished 7th in 2018 and 5th in 2017.
Last year, Elliott began his college athletic career at New Mexico Junior College. In fact, Elliott was the first athlete to sign to the school’s track and field men’s program since it had restarted for last season.
Despite only having competed in one shortened season so far, he has already managed to make his mark. He placed fifth this year at the Indoor Junior College Nationals, which resulted in him earning All-American status as a true freshman. His personal record so far in college is 16’03”.