The legacy of Aidan Hagerty


Cole Dinkler

Aidan Hagerty ’22 vaults over 14’5 with a solid two feet of clearance.

Cole Dinkler

Aidan Hagerty ’22 is a talented student. He’s been in many AP classes and was recently accepted to attend University of California Davis in the fall. However, there is one thing that sets him apart from nearly every other student attending Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech): pole vault.

Pole vault is an extremely difficult event in track and field, or even just sports in general. Vaulters propel themselves over a bar that is sometimes 15 to 16 feet in the air with just a pole and their sheer determination. When people say that pole vault isn’t for the faint of heart, they truly mean it. Hagerty isn’t the only Dragon that has taken up this challenge, as Carly Leandro ’20 and Nathaniel Russel ’18 both were very successful Dragon vaulters. Leandro was a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section finalist in 2020 and is our current girls’ school record holder in the vault with a best of 10’6. Russel made it all the way to CIF Masters in 2018, one step away from the California State Meet, with a PR of 14’6. However, no other Foothill athlete has achieved the kind of success that Hagerty has in this event. On May 27 and 28, Hagerty was the first athlete in Foothill Tech track and field history to compete at the California State Finals Meet in Clovis, California and placed seventh overall in his event. 



To reach the California State Finals Meet in track and field is no walk in the park. Athletes that have qualified for State have to progress from CIF Prelims to CIF Finals and then on to CIF Masters, where hundreds of athletes have been eliminated in the process.  In order for Aidan to reach the CIF Masters Meet on May 21, he had to be amongst the top nine vaulters in the Southern Section of CIF (where over 560 schools compete). From there, only those who jump over 14’11 qualified for the state prelims. Then on Friday, May 27, only the top 12 vaulters in the state of California earned the right to compete on Saturday night at the State Finals Meet, under the bright lights of Buchanan’s field of champions and the pressure of competing with literally the best of the best. So with this season and with his accomplishments, Hagerty may not only be one of the best track and field athletes that Foothill Tech has ever had, he is likely one of the best athletes that our school has ever produced.

 Aidan accomplished all of this with a strong work ethic and a pure sense of determination. When I was at the state meet and I looked over at the boys’ high jump pit, there was one thing that every single athlete had in common: they won the genetic lottery. Almost every male athlete was over 6’3 and had the body of a jumper. Hagerty isn’t 6’3, he doesn’t have crazy long legs like a high jumper and he doesn’t possess any natural physical advantages significantly different from you or I.  He looks like your average high school athlete. However, what sets him apart is his work ethic. He put in the work every day for many months and years, relentless in reaching his goals. His achievements were the product of many years of showing up, putting in the work and getting a little better every day.  



So the next time that you think that what you did was enough, go beyond what you thought to be possible, because Hagerty is not only a legend to the track team or to our sports teams in general, but a true example of how far, and how high, Foothill Tech students can really go.

What do you think?