Bum shoulder no problem for Kendricks as he breaks state record in pole vault

Published 7:28 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

John Scott Kendricks is probably the only track star in the country who would call a performance where he broke his own state record “rough.”

The Oxford senior set a new Mississippi overall record Thursday with a jump of 17-feet, one-inch, eclipsing his own state record by a quarter-inch.

Despite the record jump, Kendricks categorized the performance as “rough,” saying he “was really struggling” through his first few jumps.

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The reason?

“I got bucked off a horse last night.”

Come again?

“We were taking senior pictures at my house and then someone had the idea — it was me, I was someone — that I should take one on the horse,” Kendricks said. “Obviously I didn’t have time to go get a saddle or anything so I just jumped on the back of it — and see the thing is that’s not even unusual for me. We have horses, I just jump on them sometimes but this was the first time they ever jumped back and that ground was hard, let me tell ya.”

Kendricks said his shoulder didn’t bother him much until he woke up the next morning to throbbing pain.

He was unable to move the shoulder sideways or backwards, but was able to move it forwards in the pole vault motion after working with trainers.

“We were just hoping that it would line up to where I could still jump and it turned out I could,” he said. “It only hurt a little bit… so it didn’t affect me much.”

The record jump marked the second time the Arkansas commit has broken his own state record after setting the state mark at the Oxford relays earlier this season.

That jump also helped him achieve a personal goal as it marked the final state record held by his older brother Sam.

Kendricks entered the year with the goal of eclipsing each of his brother’s state records, and now heads into the North State meet with all of his high school goals in the rearview.

His next objective?

Make an impact as a freshman for reigning indoor national champion Arkansas.

“I just really want to go and be able to say that I can actually make a difference on the team,” Kendricks said. “I want to go to SEC’s and I want to score as a freshman, I want to get top three. I mean scoring is top eight but to be able to set myself apart from the rest of the guys you have to go and medal.”