BUTTE — For Cameron Tobiness, the third track and field season was the charm.
The Butte High senior had competed in pole vault since his sophomore year, but he had failed to advance to the state meet for two seasons, coming up one spot short at the Western AA divisional in 2022.
But this season, Tobiness finally broke through and managed to clear the automatic qualifying height of 13 feet, 6 inches earlier this month at the John Tomich Invitational on his home track.
"It was a big mark for me to get," said Tobiness, who signed to continue his athletic career with hometown Montana Tech's track and field program on Tuesday. "I really wanted it after last year."
Competing at Memorial Stadium gave him a boost during the Tomich Invite and he's hoping for more of the same when the State AA and B track and field meets kick off with the boys' pole vault competitions on Thursday at 5 p.m.
He knows the ins and outs of the pole vault runways and pits here and is hoping that gives him an edge on Thursday.
"I know this track, I know the wind," he said. "I know how the wind is going to react, so that's a big part of it."
He will head into the state competition with the sixth best mark in Class AA (14-1) behind Billings Senior's Evan O'Toole and Helena Capital's Alex Brisko (14-6), and Helena's Keagan Pallister, Missoula Big Sky's Micah Dawe and Butte teammate Gavin Vetter who have all cleared 14-3).
"It feels pretty good," he said of his current standing in the pole vault ranks. "But I can't let it get to my head though. I have to go on Thursday and compete just as I would any other meet."
The State AA and B meets will continue Friday and Saturday and Tobiness will also compete in the triple jump.