Derek Amlicke ’23 jumps to new heights


Photo contributed by Derek Amlicke ’23

Derek Amlicke ’23 leaps to new heights after breaking a school record with a 15’ 0.25’’ vault. He continues onto the spring season with hope for a new personal record.

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a flying squirrel!” you say while pointing at the flash of white and blue that soars through the sky. To your surprise, it’s none other than Derek Amlicke ’23 jumping to new heights in the 2023 season.

Amlicke vaulted to 15′ 0.25 ” at the Nike Indoor National Championships, breaking the Staples indoor track record and placing first in the state and second in New England. 

“The pole vault community is probably one of the best sports communities that you could find,” Amlicke said. “Throughout Connecticut and even the states close by we are all great friends who provide advice and support. Even in competition with each other we still help out. I should probably stop helping my competition in meets though.” 

The pole vault community is probably one of the best sports communities that you could find.

— Derek Amlicke ’23

Held on March 12, the indoor track teams attended the Nike Indoor National Championships, the team’s cumulative competition. There Amlicke broke his personal record of 14’ 6’’ with an additional 6.25 inches, according to Athletic.Net.  It is two feet more than his personal best of the 2022 season. 

Amlicke (right) stares down his proclaimed rival, Lucas Williams (left) from Ridgefield High School. Amlicke attributes some of his success to Williams. (Photo contributed by Derek Amlicke ’23)

“A jump improvement of two feet in one year is remarkable progress,” Laddie Lawrence, the head coach of boys’ indoor track, said. “That in itself attests to his athletic ability and determination to improve.”

Amlicke attributes his high success to the Staple’s pole vaulting coach, Mathew Mula ’13, among others. 

“The only reason that I have been able to make it this high is because of my amazing Coach Mattew (Matt) Mula and my rival, Lucas Williams, from Ridgefield High School,” Amlicke said. “Amazing people and amazing vaulters.” 

When he’s not competing, Amlicke takes on a leadership position with many underclassmen. 

“He is a really good leader and is always happy to help,” Elijah De Brito ’25 said. 

Amlicke pole vaults in the outdoor track season as well. He is focused on continuing his own progress but also advancing those around him as well. Amlicke is excited for the O’Grady Relays, where multiple vaulters can work for a team gold medal by adding together the heights they achieve. 

“I am looking forward to the warm weather and helping the newer vaulters progress,” Amlicke said. “We have a lot of promising underclassmen that could do really well quite soon.” 

There are high hopes for Amlicke’s spring season, filled with even more success than he has already achieved. 

“I am also excited to compete for my team and score as many points as I can in the championship season,” Amlicke said. “And, hopefully a nice PR as well.”