KC Lightfoot reaches new heights with record-setting vault

KC Lightfoot
Posted at 8:36 PM, Jun 06, 2023

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Kansas City's "KC" achieved new heights this weekend in Nashville.

"I'll be honest, I don't remember much," KC Lightfoot said.

It's fine that he doesn't remember, because Lightfoot's accomplishment will go down in history.

The Lee's Summit grad not only cleared the hallowed six meter mark in the pole vault, but he went over the bar at 6.07 meters, a new American record.

"I know obviously what happened," Lightfoot said. "I've seen the videos; I remember running off the mat kind of looking like a doofus."

He also looked like one of the greatest to ever do it.

Lightfoot, who finished fourth in the pole vault at the Olympics, had hit six meters with an indoor vault before but had yet to do it outdoors.

That changed Friday in Nashville at the Music City Track Carnival.

Lightfoot cleared 6.07 meters, which is 19 feet, 11 inches, on his second attempt at the height. Once he broke the record, there was no need to try to go higher.

"You use so much energy after a big jump like that," Lightfoot said. "You don't get to end on a make too often, so I was just going to call it good."

Lightfoot says the American record was a career goal. But he's already achieved it at the age of 23.

"Hopefully my career is far from done," Lightfoot said.

The world record would be the logical next goal. It sits at 6.22 meters and is held by US-born, but Swedish pole vaulter Armand Duplantis.

Duplantis won the Tokyo Olympics.

"The world record is significantly higher," said Lightfoot of Duplantis's mark that is five inches higher than his. "We're inching there. One step at a time. You never know."