Ulrich

Branson’s Reagan Ulrich has a state championship to go with his school record in the pole vault, after winning the event at the Class 5 state meet Saturday in Columbia.

Consider Reagan Ulrich’s mission to be accomplished.

The talented and high-flying Branson High School junior claimed the Class 5 state championship in the pole vault on Saturday afternoon at Battle High School in Columbia, clearing 16 feet to easily claim the gold.

Ulrich, who cleared 15 feet, 9 inches, to take second place at state as a sophomore, has been busy rewriting the school’s record books all spring.

He nearly shattered his own school record in the final moments of the state meet on Saturday, narrowly missing 16 feet, 10 inches.

Ulrich passed until the bar reached 15 feet, which he made on his second try. He then passed on 15-3 and made both 15-6 and 16 feet on his first attempts.

Ulrich was one of four Branson individuals to make the trip to Columbia for the state meet, competing in six events.

Also placing was senior Britt Pierce in the high jump.

Pierce is headed to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to join the track program there, and he followed up a sixth-place state finish last May with an eighth-place showing on Saturday.

Pierce passed until the bar reached 6 feet, 4 inches, and he cleared 6-4 on his first try, then 6-5 on his third attempt. He didn’t top 6-6, with the state champion topping out at 6 feet, 10 inches.

Sophomore Payton McCormick qualified for state in both hurdle events. He was 13th in the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 40.58 seconds.

In the 110-meter hurdles, he was 14th in the prelims, finishing in 15.84 seconds.

The Branson girls were represented at state by freshman Cali Essick, who qualified in both the 100 and 200 meters.

Essick didn’t make it to the finals in either event. She was 13th in the 200-meter prelims, with a time of 27.32 seconds, and was 15th in the 100-meter prelims, finishing in 13.00 seconds.

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