When Scarborough High sophomore Sam Rusak headed to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in late January for the Greater Boston Track Club Invitational, he wasn’t sure he’d even compete.

He’s glad he changed his mind. Rusak won the pole vault with a jump of 14 feet, 9 inches in an event that featured collegians and older vaulters.

Rusak is the top seed among Class A pole vaulters heading into the indoor track and field state championships Monday.

The 6-foot-1 Rusak will try to help the Scarborough boys win their fifth consecutive team title at the Class A indoor track and field championship at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. The Red Storm will face competition from Cheverus, which won the title during the outdoor season last year.

In the girls meet, Thornton Academy will contend for its second straight Class A indoor state title. The Trojans are led by senior Tori Daigle, who won two events last year while setting a state record in the long jump.

The Class B meet will be held at Bates College in Lewiston, where the Waterville girls will vie for their fifth consecutive state title and the York boys will compete for their third state title in four years. Last year, York finished runner-up to Waterville, which is always in the hunt.

While the Scarborough boys look like the favorite, the Red Storm are not dwelling on individual titles.

“We do have the ability to get some first-place finishes … but it’s not the focus. I always tell them to just compete the best they can,” said Scarborough Coach Derek Veilleux.

Rusak will attempt to better his third-place finish at the Class A meet last year, when he cleared 12-6 as a freshman. Last Saturday he captured the SMAA title with a vault of 14 feet, a foot better than the Class A winning mark last year.

But Rusak, who shows up at the gym at 6 a.m. two days a week to practice, expects more.

“I’d love to break 15 feet as a sophomore,” Rusak said. “I lifted more this summer. I lifted last year, but I didn’t take it as seriously. At the first meet this year I cleared 13-6. Then at the second meet I cleared 14-5. That’s an 11-inch PR. If I vaulted above 15, it would make me the happiest person in the world.”

Scarborough pole vault coach William Bertinet thinks he can.

“In my 29 years as a pole vault coach I’ve only coached one other 15-footer,” Bertinet said. “And as a sophomore Sam is by far the best I’ve coached at his age.”

Of course, Scarborough has a long tradition of success in the pole vault: 13 indoor champions since 1985 and 17 outdoor champs, dating back to 1936.

Scarborough vaulters have won three of the past six indoor state titles.

“Sam came in with a lot of expectations last year. He scored in two events at the indoor state meet. You can’t ask that much more from a freshman,” Veilleux said.

“Now he’s matured and put on a significant amount of muscle, probably 15 to 20 pounds. He’s a specimen. He’s one of those kids who has a lot of inherent talent, but he also works hard. And he’s versatile. He could compete in the high jump, the hurdles, the long jump. Athletes like him don’t come along very often.”