The sky’s the limit for Landry

Placer grad sets new goals after winning Big Sky as a freshman
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
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Connor Landry’s pole vault coach at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo believes the Placer High graduate has plenty of untapped potential. Since Landry won the Big West Conference title in the track and field event as a freshman last season, his well of potential must run pretty deep. “As successful as he’s been, he’s pretty raw in terms of his technique,” said Sean Brown, Cal Poly’s men’s and women’s pole vault coach. “That’s exciting for me as a coach because there’s so much room for him to improve.” Landry is the first to admit as much. For instance, he’s currently working on getting his body more vertical before he goes over the bar. “I’ve been flagging out a lot, shooting out at the bar at a 90-degree angle instead of going straight up,” Landry said. “(Correcting that) should add six inches to a foot to my jump.” Landry posted his personal-best mark of 16 feet, 6 3/4 inches at last year’s Big West Conference meet. He has yet to reach that height this season, clearing 16 feet in his first two meets of the year. Still, Landry is jumping consistently higher than he did a year ago. His goal is to reach at least 17 feet — if not 17-6 — before the season is over. “Last year I was excited when I jumped 15 feet,” he said. “This year I’m regularly clearing 16.” The fact that Landry is getting up so high is a feat in itself. Landry has been adjusting to a longer pole this season, moving from a 16-footer to a 5-meter pole (16 feet, 5 inches), according to Brown. “He made a lot of strength gains by working hard in the weight room during the offseason,” said Brown, who compares Landry to a football player — “super strong and super fast.” “When you get stronger, poles that used to be stiff become too small,” Brown said. “Everything is off in terms of timing, and you need a new pole. … For him to be going higher with a longer series of poles is a breakthrough.” It doesn’t hurt that competition brings out the best in Landry, Brown said. “To be honest, (his Big West) title is nice, but a lot of those meets are about who’s on that day,” Brown said. “Connor’s a meet vaulter — he goes to the next level in competitions. He performs well at the right time.” Landry isn’t the only champion pole vaulter in his family. His younger sister Mackenzi, a sophomore at Del Oro High, earned a share of the Sac-Joaquin Section title last year — and, according to Landry, has already shown she can compete with some of his female teammates at Cal Poly. “She’s already gotten some letters (from colleges),” Landry said of Mackenzi. Landry is working toward a degree in business with an emphasis in accounting at Cal Poly, but he may not pursue a career in that field. He’s thinking of becoming a firefighter instead. “I’m thinking that a desk job might not be the most exciting thing in the world,” Landry said. “I’ve got friends and family members who are firefighters, and it sounds like a really exciting job. “But I’ve got to stay in school. (Firefighting) is something I’ll have to wait until after graduation to pursue.”