For Devin King and Morgan Leleux, Saturday night's Dauphin Street Vault was one to remember.
Both came away with impressive victories -- King clearing a meet record and national high school leading mark of 18 feet, while LeLeux, a former high school vaulter now competing for the University of Georgia, won her fourth straight elite female competition with a clearance of 13-8.
King, who came into the competition at 16-0, had several big clearances en route to his 18-0 effort. The Kentwood, La., native said 18 feet was on his mind during the season -- especially in light of the fact that he will be competing in the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., next weekend.
DAUPHIN STREET EVENT UNFAZED BY RAIN
"I was hoping to see it (18 feet)," he said. "I've been practicing at 17-6 and 17-9, so it gave me a lot of confidence. I was nervous and excited. Eighteen feet has been on my mind since I was a sophomore in high school. It means a lot to me and my family, and I thank God for that."
Leleux came into the competition at 13-3 and fed off the energy of the huge Dauphin Street crowd. She and Duke University-bound Madison Heath were in a battle early on, but Leleux -- who was runner-up in the NCAA championships last month -- prevailed.
"I love this meet because there is so much energy from the crowd," she said. "It makes me want to jump for them. "I've been having some mental issues, mainly a lack of confidence, but I proved to myself that I'm going to be fine. I needed this meet to get me back on track."
Gavin Gautreau of the New Heights Club was second in the Elite Male division, clearing 16-0, while McGill-Toolen's Sean Collins was third (15-9). Heath finished runner-up in the Elite Female Division with a personal best of 13-3, while Lauren Koontz, who is pursuing a PhD at Havard, was third (12-0).
Brady Bergeron of Hammond, La., won the Open Division Male competition, clearing 15-0. It was his first time competing in the Dauphin Street Vault, and was awed by the crowd's enthusiasm.
"It was an amazing feeling, and there were a whole lot of people cheering you on," he said. "I wanted to clear 15-6, but today wasn't my day."
Claire Goodson of the Birmingham Vault Club was the Open Division Female winner, clearing 12-0, with Megan James, a South Alabama vaulter representing the Aerial Assault Club, second in 11-6.
It was a significant improvement for James, who cleared 10-0 in last year's competition.
"It's an exciting meet, and it gets the community involved," she said. "The competition was very motivational. I was very relaxed, because this competition is not as nerve-racking."