O'Sullivan Soars To No. 2 In State History In Pole Vault!

Brian O'Sullivan has soared into rarified air!!!

The senior at Hillsborough continued his remarkable season over the bar by vaulting all the way up to No. 2 in New Jersey outdoor history when he cleared 16-6.50 at the Skyland Conference Championships on Tuesday at Hillsborough!!

After making 15-0 on his first try and 16-0 on his second attempt, the Rutgers-bound O'Sullivan went over 16-6.50 on his second try to set a new personal best (he made 16-6.25 in January at the Skyland Conference Championships) and break the 43-year-old Somerset County record of 16-6 that was set by Bill Lange of Bridgewater-East at the Junior Olympics in 1980!

Lange's 16-6 stood as the state outdoor record for 24 years! Adam Sarafian of Ocean Township broke it when he made a still-standing state record of 17-4.50 at the Shore Conference Championships in 2004. Lange still holds the state indoor record of 17-0 that he cleared in 1980. (Note-the state outdoor record progression in the pole vault is listed at the bottom of this story). 

O'Sullivan, now ranked No. 13 in the country this season, has made 16 feet or more in seven meets this year (four indoors and three outdoors).

Now that Sarafian is the only vaulter in NJ high school history who has gone higher than O'Sullivan, the big question is can O'Sullivan challenge Sarafian's state record of 17-4.50?? 

O'Sullivan, who missed on his three tries at 16-9.25 at the Skyland Conference meet, would have to improve his PR by 10.25 inches to make 17-4.75. It's tough to raise your PR by that much, but O'Sullivan certainly has the talent and the drive to make a run at it. I have a feeling that the best is still yet to come from O'Sullivan!

O'Sullivan's quest for 17 feet and possibly taking a shot at Sarafian's record is one of the top storylines to follow over the last month of this season.    

Did you know there are exactly 16 pole vaulters who have cleared 16-0 or higher outdoors in NJ high school history?!!! And five of the 16 are from Somerset County, the most of any county in the state. The county with the second most 16-foot vaulters outdoors is Union County with three.   


17-4 1/2-Adam Sarafian, Ocean Township, 2004

16-6.50-Brian O'Sullivan, Hillsborough, 2023

16-6-Bill Lange, Bridgewater East, 1980

16-6-Craig Hunter, Robbinsville, 2013

16-4.50-Brian McSweeney, East Brunswick, 2021

16-4-Will Nesbitt, Millburn, 1980

16-3 Bradley Jelmert, Watchung Hills, 2020

16-1 1/4-Bill Hartley, Southern, 1976

16-1-Eric Richard, Bridgewater East, 1981

16-1-Jordan Pacheco, Morris Hills, 2013

16-0-Bob Green, Haddon Heights, 1992

16-0-Dan Heyburn, Cranford, 1980

16-0-Peter Fagan, Westfield, 2013

16-0-Andrew Ghizzone, Union Catholic, 2014

16-0 Kevin O'Sulllivan, Hillsborough, 2022

16-0-Max Zuckerman, Pascack Hills, 2022



12-0 1/2-Arky Trenton, Vineland, 1931

12-6- Don Riley, Collingwood, 1942

12-6 3/4-Don Rley, Collingwood, 1943

13-7 1/4-Don Bragg, Penn Grove, 1953

13-7 1/2-Gil Botvin, Peddie, 1956

14-0 1/2-Buford Williams, Piscataway, 1966

14-6-Rick Fisher, Cherry Hill East, 1971

14-7 1/2-Mark MacCracken, Tenafly, 1972

14-8-Mike Remus, Cedar Grove, 1973

15-0-Bert Reppen, Highland Park, 1974

15-6 1/2-Bill Hartley, Southern, 1975

16-1 1/2-Bill Hartley, Southern, 1976

16-6-Bill Lange, Bridgewater East, 1980

17-4 1/2-Adam Sarafian, Ocean Township, 2004