Marion High School juniors Oren and Ethan Welch both qualified for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships by taking the top two spots in the Division II boys pole vault at the Section V State Qualifier on Friday in Batavia.
Oren, the Section V Class B4 outdoor champion, and Ethan, who finished tied for fifth at the state indoor meet, both cleared 13-feet, 6-inches on Friday to earn a trip to Middletown for this weekend’s NYSPHSAA meet. Oren, who established a personal record, placed first based on fewer misses.
The brothers, who are twins, both said competing against each other brings out their best. “I like it,” Oren said.
“Extremely competitive, but still supportive,” Ethan said while describing their relationship.
Track and field coach Paul Pfeiffer also believes there is strength in numbers, especially in a specialized event such as pole vault.
“As a small school, it’s good to have a family that is so into an event,” he said.
Both Oren and Ethan have held the school record at different times this season. Ethan is currently the school record holder for both indoor (14-feet) and outdoor (13-feet, 9-inches).
Oren and Ethan will travel to Middletown as members of the Section V team with a shared goal: “To medal and PR,” they said.
The pole vault competition begins at 11 a.m. on Friday.