The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Credit: Ben Zhao

He may only be a sophomore, but pole-vaulter Sean Clarke has already established himself among the all-time great Penn track and field athletes. For that, he earns DP Sports Player of the Week recognition. 

Playing hosts to the Penn 8-Team Select in New York City, the Red and Blue had themselves quite a weekend, with multiple athletes setting new personal records and winning numerous events. The Quakers finished second out of the eight teams that competed, proving this year’s team is a force with which to be reckoned. 

Of course, Clarke was the headliner. Clearing a height of 5.30 meters, he etched his name into Penn track and field lore, now holding the best indoor jump in Penn pole vault history. The previous record of 5.27 meters, held by Tom Blair, had stood since 1972. But Clarke, in his short time at Penn, has proven that he is unlike the pole-vaulters before him, so record holders better be wary.

Such an impressive performance has already become typical for Clarke. Last year’s outdoor jump of 5.35 meters placed him second in Penn’s outdoor pole-vaulting records, and his overall outstanding freshman season earned him Second-Team All-American honors. 

If Clarke can continue his torrid pace, he has a legitimate chance to rewrite all of Penn’s pole-vaulting records before he graduates. Next up … Mamadou Johnson’s 1993 outdoor record of 5.52 meters.