Doug Fraley has another weapon for his arsenal, as Tulane has added high school phenom pole vaulter Caleb Bertrand to the roster
Sept. 25, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - In addition to the ten student-athletes Tulane's track and field program announced as its newest members in July, the team announced that it has added pole vaulter Caleb Bertrand, who enrolled in classes earlier this semester.
Bertrand is a native of Elton, La., where he won the LHSAA 1A State Championship in the pole vault during his senior year at Elton High School in 2013. Bertrand cleared 16' 1" in the finals held at Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., in May. He was ranked as the fourth-best pole vaulter in the nation in 2013.
His personal outdoor best came in April 2013 at the District 5-1A Championship when he jumped 17' 0" for the district title. He bettered his previous season high by two feet during his senior campaign.
"We are thrilled to have Caleb in our program," said Tulane director of track and field Eric Peterson. "We expect his addition is going to make a dramatic impact on the development of our program. One of our goals is to focus on local recruiting. Caleb, along with Anthony Taylor, are two of the higher ranked athletes not only in the state, but nationally. Caleb is a blue-chip athlete, and he makes a huge, competitive impact on our program, especially at the conference level."
In 2011, Bertrand placed second at the LHSAA Outdoor State Track and Field Championships with a jump of 15' 5.83. The Elton, La., native came in third during his freshman season at the LHSAA Outdoor State Track and Field Championships, leaping 13' 6".
Bertrand joins an already impressive stable of pole vaulters in All-American honorable mention junior Merritt Van Meter, senior Joanna Lapucha and junior Jessica Knierim. Tulane also added two women pole vaulters during the signing period in Mary Carson Pitts and Emma Staisloff. All of the jumpers will be tutored by Tulane assistant track and field coach for jumps Doug Fraley.
"Anytime you get a top-ten kid to the country, it's a big boost to your program," said Fraley. "This is huge, especially with the stage our men's program is in."
Bertrand will attempt to become the first male pole vaulter from Tulane to capture a Conference USA title since Robbie Manard did so during the 1997 outdoor season. Fraley also worked with Manard during his historic season.
"When Robbie was vaulting, it was back when the men's program here was at full strength," added Fraley. "It was great being a volunteer coach back then and break the school record and win Conference USA Championships. Now, to have a kid in Caleb that should hopefully surpass that record and do well at the conference and national level is a really neat thing for me to be a part of."
While Bertrand will solely compete in the pole vault during his collegiate career, he also posted solid numbers in the 110 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles during his high school career. During his senior year, Bertrand captured first place in the 110 meter hurdles at the District 5-1A Championships and the Region II - 1A meet with runs of 17.91 and 16.27, respectively. He also won the District 5-1A Championship in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 44.35.
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