Yelm’s Lasher sets 3A meet record with second-consecutive pole vault state title

Four-time state champion reflects on historic championship performance


One year ago, after securing his first 3A pole vault state championship with a measure of 15 feet, 6 inches, during his junior season, Yelm High School student Jordan Lasher set a goal to successfully defend his state championship crown as a senior.

Not only did the senior successfully defend and retain his 3A pole vault state championship, he set a new WIAA 3A state track and field championship meet record with a pole vault of 16-6. He broke the eight-year record of Bishop Blanchet’s Zach Shugart, who originally had the 3A record with a vault of 16-3.

Moments after he secured his back-to-back state championship, Lasher told the Nisqually Valley News he was thrilled to finish his senior campaign as a state champion.

The multisport athlete finished his Yelm High School career as a four-time state champion, including the WIAA’s 2022 3A state football championship, the 2023 3A boys track state championship and two individual titles in 2023 and 2024 as a pole vaulter.

“I’m feeling nothing but excitement. Excitement and adrenaline. I’m just happy right now,” Lasher said on Saturday, May 25, at Mount Tahoma High School. “I’m happy to come back and win it again, of course. Being the last one of that group that helped win (the 3A state championship) last year, it’s kind of special to be able to come back and win it for those guys.”

Lasher was a member of the 2023 Yelm boys track team that saw four state title holders crowned, including Brayden Platt, shot put, Trevontay Smith, triple jump, and Isaiah Patterson, discus. The departing state champions from 2023 each found a home to continue their athletic careers as Platt attends the University of Oregon for football, while Patterson attends UCLA to play football as well. Smith attends the University of Washington, where he is continuing his jumps career. He just concluded his freshman campaign.

“What I would say about Jordan that makes him so special is his mental game. That kid grinds,” said Gabe Cadero-Smith, YHS track and field coach. “He was PR’d in the snow and set meet records in the rain. When you start jumping that high it gets scary no matter who you are, and his fear management is better than anyone I have ever seen.”

Lasher credits his coaches with guiding him to become the best track athlete he could be. He said he has “the best coaches I could ask for” in YHS coach Cadero-Smith, club coach Pat Licari and former coach Mike Strong.

“He is so fun to coach. He has created great relationships with some excellent coaches in our area who have loved working with him,” Cadero-Smith said. “He works hurdles with Mike Strong and vaulting with Pat Licari, in addition to the team practices with us. We are incredibly proud of the man he has become.”

He also credited coaches Shannon Gubser and Rich Houghton as providing a lot of help in the 110-meter hurdles competition.

“I’ve got great coaches,” Lasher said. “I’m just happy. I’m very excited; 16-06 has been my goal for a long time, and I finally got there. I couldn’t have asked for it to happen at a better time than now.”

Before Lasher could clinch his second-consecutive 3A pole vault state championship, he competed in the 110-meter hurdle preliminaries and ultimately qualified for the state championship race. During his junior campaign in 2023, Lasher finished sixth in the 3A state competition with a time of 15.06.

One year later, Lasher found himself in fourth place with an improved time of 14.71 seconds. He finished behind Spanaway Lake’s Andrew Bell, 14.58, Kennewick’s Jackson Burns, 14.6, and Mead’s Jaeland Leman, 14.61.

During the preliminary round of the competition, Lasher, who ran in the second of three heats, finished with a time of 15.06, the same time he posted in 2023 during the state championship.

“The prelims didn’t go the way I wanted. I ended up in the last qualifying position in lane eight, but I was excited to go into the finals with a lot of energy,” Lasher said. “I think I brought that energy, and I ended up taking fourth.”

With his senior season officially behind him, and a lot of pole vaulting ahead of him, Lasher will soon have the opportunity to compete

“I don’t know where I’m going yet, but I’m going to vault somewhere,” he said.

“Yelm, keep winning football and keep winning track. I love being a part of this community.”