BROOKINGS— Trent Francom spent his summer the way most of us did— at home with family looking for ways to pass the time and daydreaming about when things would go back to normal.
For the Jackrabbit senior, daydreaming about returning to the pole vault pit to further solidify himself as the greatest to ever do it in a Jackrabbit uniform was not enough to pass the long days. Hard work had to be put in as well.
Like everyone else, Francom had his spring season stripped from him a year ago. At home doing school over a computer screen and facing lockdowns, he looked to his training to get through the difficult time the world was facing.
“COVID offered a unique opportunity to have a seven month off-season to recover and get into shape,” said Francom. “It was hard to train alone and go through class over Zoom. However, it gave me a ton of free time to train hard week after week.”
And that he did.
Francom turned to the barn on his property in Huron, S.D. where he spent his summer perfecting his craft on his homemade pole vault runway. He looked forward to being back in competition, making sure every rep counted jump after jump, day after day.
During his time at SDSU, Francom has made his presence known in the pole vault pits.
Francom started his career for the Blue and Yellow with a mark of 15-07.00 at the 2017 SDSU Holiday Invite Multi— a mark that would come in an inch over what he won the Howard Wood Dakota Relays with the spring before as a senior in high school.
Francom took fourth place as a freshman that year at the 2018 Summit League Championships and tied his older brother, Reagan Francom, for the school record with a vault of 16-06.75, coming in at nearly a foot over his opening mark that season.
Almost a year after tying the school record, he became its sole owner with a jump of 16-10.75 at the 2019 Dakota Realty Alumni Meet. Since then, Francom has been nothing short of exceptional— going on to break his own school record five more times.
Over the past weekend, Francom vaulted a personal best 18-00.50 to further solidify his spot at the top of the charts.
“The goal has always been to reach the highest point I physically can reach,” said Francom. Hitting 18 was great, but I’ll always hope to reach higher heights.”
Nobody (indoor or outdoor) has ever reached 18-feet in the history of the Jackrabbit track and field program. In fact, Francom is the only one to have ever reached 17-feet, both indoor and outdoor, and is now pushing past 18 in the indoor pits.
At over a foot and a half shorter than Trent’s, the older Francom’s indoor mark still stands at No. 2 at State.
Currently, Francom is only one of eight in the NCAA to clear 18-feet this year and is tied for seventh in the nation. Right now, he sits at second in the Summit League behind USD’s Ethan Bray (No. 4, 18-06.5) and has one goal in mind headed into this weekend’s championship meet.
“I still have yet to win a Summit League title. The main goal is to leave this weekend a champion and score as many points as possible for the team.”
And while he already has a job lined up for after graduation, the veteran teammate isn’t rushing himself out of SDSU just yet.
“I have much more to achieve in a Jackrabbit jersey,” he says in confidence.
Note: Francom would finish third in the Summit League Indoor Championships with a mark of 16-10.00.
It was announced Sunday that Francom will represent the Jackrabbits at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which are scheduled March 11-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.
Story courtesy of Christian Gravius at gojacks.com.