The soaring siblings each won sectional titles in the event to advance to this weekend's Class 2 state championships in Jefferson City.

Parker and Lila Yager have taken on the responsibility of continuing the Monroe City track and field tradition in the pole vault.

The soaring siblings each won sectional titles in the event to advance to this weekend's Class 2 state championships in Jefferson City.

Parker, a junior, advances to the finals in the pole vault for the third consecutive season having set his personal record of 14 feet on April 25 at the Dennis Hancock Invitational. He won the event in nine different meets this season. 

Lila, a freshman, burst on the high school scene this year, showing consistent improvement along the way. She finished second in the pole vault at the Clarence Cannon Conference meet before earning the district title and then winning the sectional by clearing a personal best of eight feet, eight inches.

Both head to state this season maintain Monroe City's strong track record of success in the event. Last season, three-time state champion Chase Pennewell won the boys title, while Kelby Painter placed third among girls. 

“It's cool to see that pole vault tradition continue, but also that family tradition for Parker and Lila,” Monroe City boys coach David Kirby said. “That's a really neat thing for us.” 

Parker finished 15th at state meet as a freshman and placed ninth at state a year ago. The junior hopes to continue that improvement in this year's finals, where he will be joined by pole vault teammate Logan Maher.

“I'm hoping for the top five, maybe higher,” Parker said. “I just want to keep it going. It's going to be awesome.”

Parker noted that he began pole vaulting in seventh grade jumping eight feet.

Now 14 is his number to beat.

“He's starting to come into his own,” Kirby said. “His freshman and sophomore campaigns he got the experience of going down to state. Now that he's gone 14 this year and had some really good jumps and figured some things out, he's extremely confident about going down to state and making the podium.”

Lila, who began vaulting in middle school after her older brother found success, surprised even herself with how she's fared this season — especially winning the sectional by eight inches.

“I wasn't even expecting to get over 8-06,” she said of the sectional meet. “I PR'd again after that and got to 8-08. I'm going to try and go for nine foot and set another PR (at state).” 

Monroe City girls coach Laura Mulvaney has been impressed by Lila's consistency and poise throughout her first high school season. 

“When Lila came in, we knew she was going to be something special in the pole vault,” the coach said. “We knew she was going to come in and be consistent. She's done very, very well.” 

Lila is seeded eighth for the state meet. Her No. 1 goal is to stay true to that number. 

“If I get to eighth place, I get to stand on the podium, and that's pretty much all I want to do,” she said. 

“Just to be going to state as a freshman is a phenomenal achievement,” Mulvaney echoed. “But to be on that podium, that would be an awesome confidence booster with her brother.”