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Prep Track and Field | New Auburn Trojans

Prep Track and Field: One spot from state in pole vault a season ago, New Auburn's Robey motivated to take the next step

NEW AUBURN — It didn’t take Triton Robey long to get hooked.

The first time he cleared the bar during a pole vault attempt, he knew it was the track and field event for him.

Now the New Auburn senior is looking to end his prep career with a bang as he aims to advance to the Division 3 state championships after coming up one place short a season ago.

Robey was Chippewa County’s number one pole vaulter on the most recent county honor roll list, clearing the 12-foot mark a number of times this season including earlier in the week at Flambeau. It takes a special kind of athlete to excel in the pole vault where explosiveness, body control and concentration are all key.

It also requires courage.

“I think to be a pole vaulter and to be good at it you’ve got to be kind of fearless and he has the confidence in him that he can do it,” New Auburn coach Keenan Dahl said of Robey.

Robey started with the event as a freshman. His father Troy felt he could do well with it and after a few attempts and his first successful clearance of the bar, Robey was hooked. As a freshman Robey reached Division 3 sectionals but didn’t register a height in his attempts. Robey’s sophomore year was wiped out as Spring 2020 sports were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic but he returned as a junior ready to go. He finished second to eventual sectional champion Joseph Jensen of Chetek-Weyerhaeuser after clearing 12-feet, 3-inches and also qualified for sectionals in the triple jump after taking third.

Robey entered sectionals with a realistic chance of advancing to state and meeting the lofty goals he set. But that push would come up just short as Robey finished fifth with a height of 12-feet, just behind Unity’s Harrison Zipperer for fourth place and the final state transfer spot.

“Last year that was the ultimate goal and once I just fell barely short last year I was like that’s not going to happen again,” Robey said.

Robey has been a three-sport athlete with the Trojans, also playing football in the fall and basketball in the winter. He entered the spring with a mindset set on advancing to La Crosse and has found success early in the season. All the physical tools are there, but for Robey reaching his ultimate goal will come down to one thing — consistency.

“You’ve got to take it one step at a time, making sure you’re not overthinking because if you’re overthinking when you’re 12 feet in the air it can go bad,” Robey said.

For Robey and all statewide track athletes, business starts to pick up now. New Auburn travels north for Tuesday’s East Lakeland Conference championships hosted by Flambeau to cap the regular season. Robey won the East Lakeland title in the pole vault last year at 11-6 and was also second in the long and triple jump events. The Trojans open the Division 3 postseason with regionals in Durand on May 23 with the top finishers advancing to sectionals in Colfax on May 26.

“I think he’s ready to jump up hopefully in the next week,” Dahl said of Robey.

Robey credits his coaches for helping him continue to make progress as he hits the most important time of his prep track and field career. He will be getting a new pole this week that Robey believes could add as much as two feet to his height.

Robey’s future is already secured as recently he signed to compete for the track and field team in college at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie.

But before Robey becomes a Blue Devil, he’s looking to end his Trojans career with a bang and become the first New Auburn athlete to advance to state since Jesse Sweeter in 2013.

“Sometimes you get to be that senior and you just want it to be done,” Dahl said. “He’s not that way. He’s striving to be better all the time because he wants to make it to state. That’s his ultimate goal. Just missing out so close last year and he really, really wants it to happen. Hopefully it works out for us.”

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