POLE vaulter Jack Hicking continues to reach new highs in his chosen sport.
The Padstow Heights 16-year-old recently won the NSW All Schools competition with a jump of 4.2 metres.
However, his mother Linda said even this was a disappointment to Jack’s fiercely competitive spirit after he narrowly missed a 4.4-metre clearance.
“He had jumped 4.4 metres in a competition only a few weeks before, so was a little disappointed in his performance,’’ she said.
Earlier in December, Jack (pictured) also competed at the Australian All Schools competition in the under-18s category, coming second with a personal best jump of 4.45 metres.
Athletics Australia records showed this to be the 11th-highest jump in Australia for the year in the “Open’’ age group, with Jack the youngest on the list.
Jack’s recent efforts have pushed him up to be ranked an overall 2nd in the under-18s category and 3rd in the uner-20s Australia-wide.
Following the Brisbane competition, Jack attended a four-day pole-vaulting camp run by Athletics Australia.
Among the coaches and athletes at the camp was Olympic gold medallist Steve Hooker.
Ms Hicking said Jack’s current goal was to make it into the World Youth Team in time for next year’s Barcelona championships.
She said the qualifying jump height for entry was five metres.
“He is determined so I really hope he does it,’’ she said.
Jack still competes at home for Bankstown Sports Club, but changed coaches and training venues earlier this year after being invited to join the Pole Vault Target Talent Program at Homebush.
While competing for the Waverly Wolverines in high school Chris McCarty was one of the best pole vaulters in the state of New York.
He won the Division 2 state championship and he rarely ever was beat in his high school career.
After what he did for Waverly, there were big expectations when McCarty started his college career last season.
However, things didn’t go exactly as planned for McCarty at Lock Haven University and now he is starting over, with a new school, new coaches and a new outlook at Mansfield University.
“I heard a lot of good things about coach (Tim) McAninch,” McCarty said. “I heard a lot from Will (Mullen) and Jimmy (Root) and I remember him from coming to our camps. Things were not what I expected them to be at Lock Haven. Not to say things were bad, but the coaching was not what I expected there.
“Last year we didn’t do a lot of the same things I did in high school as far as coaching. The things they did coaching-wise just didn’t suit me. This is a lot better for me.”
And, being around other former Waverly teammates at Mansfield is a help.
“I live right next to Will and with Jimmy and I see AJ (Autumn Johnson) a lot,” McCarty said. “It’s really nice to be with all of them.”
McCarty also has plenty of people helping him out when he vaults. Not only is McAninch a help as the vaulting coach, but he also gets advice from former teammate and state runner-up Johnson, as well as former Troy vaulter Alexa Tsiknas, a national qualifier for the Mountaineers.
While Tsiknas has become a help, McCarty was cautious at first because despite all her success there are differences between the way women and men pole vaulters do things.
“It was weird at first,” McCarty said of getting help from Tsiknas. “I knew Alexa was good, but I didn’t know about taking advice from a girl. I didn’t know if she knew the same things I go through. But, it’s worked out well. I really trust her judgement.
“In practice I don’t really work with the rest of the team. As a vaulter I’m kind of on my own. I have coach and Alexa and if they aren’t around then AJ can help me out sometimes.”
While it can be different being the only pole vaulter on the team at Mansfield this year, it is one of the things McCarty likes about Mansfield is that he gets a lot of one-on-one attention.
“I don’t mind,” he said. “It’s really nice. I see a team like Cortland and they must have 12 vaulters. I can’t see how they get even a couple of minutes before they vault to talk with a coach. It’s nice to have coach talking with me a lot.”
In his first meet with the Mountaineers McCarty qualified for the PSAC meet, however, that wasn’t something he thought would be a challenge. Right now McCarty has his mind set on some much bigger goals.
“I wasn’t too worried about qualifying, I knew on my worst day I could get 13-6 to 13-9,” McCarty said. “It wasn’t too bad today. I just missed 14-9 and that’s not a bad way to start.”
In high school McCarty never lost in his senior year, so it has taken some adjustment to what he’s doing now, where everything is about the postseason and not worrying about what type of height he hits right now.
“I have to swallow my pride a little bit,” he said. “My senior year I didn’t lose one time. Then, I come in here and you realize in college you can not win like you did in high school. We are worrying about the end of the season. Coach reminds me the first few meets don’t really matter. I just have to focus on getting ready for the end of the year.”
And, at the end of the year McCarty hopes to be hitting some big heights.
“My plan is to make nationals and I think it’s completely doable,” he said. “I almost mad 15 and I think that I can get on a longer pole and hit 16 feet. I think I can do that. I expect to be there at the end of the year.”
For a person who is not used to being anything but the best at the event in high school, the one thing that is challenging is being patient and knowing it takes time to get over 16 feet.
“It’s hard,” McCarty said. “You get pumped up, you want to go and do it right now. But, I know it takes time and I have to work to be ready to do it at the end of the year.”
ADELAIDE’s National Series meet received a boost last week when Olympic champion pole vaulter Steve Hooker flew in to promote the event, and a new sponsor came on board.
Hooker, the reigning Olympic champion and second highest vaulter in history, was in town to officially launch Athletics Australia’s National Series, which includes a race in Adelaide for the first time in seven years.
He signed autographs for adoring locals at Santos Stadium, Mile End, before speaking at a lunch to launch the event.
The Olympic record holder told diners he hoped to compete at the Adelaide meet, on January 28, but it would depend on how his recovery from injury progressed.
“My focus is on getting myself back to the level of conditioning I need to be to perform at the London Olympics,” he said.
Athletics SA chief executive Adam Bishop said attracting Hooker and the National Series launch to Adelaide was a bonus for the event.
Keisa Monterola of Eastern Washington was named women’s field AOW after breaking Eastern’s pole vault record at the Candy Cane Invitational. She broke the school record (13-4 1/2 set by Sarah Hegna in 2007) in her first meet as an Eagle by hitting the mark of 13-11 1/4 and just barely missing a height of 14-3, which would have been a new conference record. Montana State’s alum Elouise Rudy holds the conference record with a vault of 14-1 1/4.
Windsor, Canada –
Over the years, local talent has played a major role in the University of Windsor Lancers winning provincial and national championships.
Several more local athletes have joined the program this year with hopes of helping the program remain among the elite in Canada.
They took their competitive steps with the school’s 31st Annual Blue and Gold Intrasquad indoor track and field competition, which wrapped up Tuesday at the St. Denis Centre.
Austin Crough was an all-star volleyball player at St. Anne and also played basketball as well as track and field.
“I thought about going out for volleyball (with the Lancers), but I just went for track,” the 18-year Crough said.
He won senior boys’ pole vault at WECSSAA and SWOSSAA last year and advanced to the regional and has also dabbled in triple jump and high jump.
“In high school, I did my events, but I didn’t really train and still did well,” the six-foot-three, 185-pound Crough said.
He’s opted only do pole vault at this stage of his university career.
“He’s pretty athletic and he picks things up quickly,” Lancers assistant head coach Brett Lumley said.
Crough finished third in pole vault by clearing 3.80 metres, which was a new personal best.
“I’m just going focus on this for now and we’ll see about other events in the future,” Crough said.
Residents of Winslow will gather Saturday, Dec. 10, in the new Winslow High School gymnasium to celebrate legendary Bulldog football coach Emil Nasser’s 90th birthday.
It will undoubtedly be a huge celebration because Nasser is one of the most revered men in the northern Arizona town having coached the Bulldogs from 1947 until his retirement at the end of the 1981 season.
During his tenure at WHS, Nasser compiled a sterling 234-90 record, winning 16 conference titles and three state championships — 1948, 1949 and 1964.
The Arizona Coaches Association and the National Coaches Association have both inducted Nasser into their Halls of Fame.
Following his retirement from coaching, the high school’s football stadium was renamed in Nasser’s honor.
In addition to coaching football at WHS, Nasser also coached track, baseball and basketball, and served a stint as athletic director.
His track teams won several conference titles and were second in the state twice.
He and his former sidekick Doc Wright helped found the cross-country program at WHS.
When not coaching, Nasser was a popular sports official in football, basketball and baseball and was for several years the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Northern Arizona Commissioner.
Nasser turned out numerous football standouts at a school in which a huge majority of the male students choose to play the sport.
Some of his standouts eventually returned to WHS to teach and coach including girls basketball coach Don Petranovich and current baseball coach Art Griffith.
Crannie Hysong, who graduated with the class of 1961, became a top-notch football and track coach in the Valley. He married his WHS sweetheart Susie (Nichols) and the two had a son who became an Olympic gold medal winner in the pole vault.
Nasser also ran the town swimming pool for decades and is credited as being the man who taught hundreds of the town’s youth to swim.
WHS alumni also remember Nasser as a dedicated PE teacher who took a sincere interest in their well-being.
Outdoor sale on Saturday
The inaugural Let’s Talk Fishin’ Outdoorsman’s Yard Sale will be held from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Senior Center on Main Street.
Among the items available for purchase will be hunting, guns and ammunition from Lock N Load, archery equipment from Chasin’ a Dream, talk from the Let’s Talk Fishin’ radio show and individual vendors selling other new and used outdoor gear.
Organizers say the event is an indoor yard sale and individuals are welcome to sign up for a table.
- Date: 12-02-11
- Location: Grand Valley State-Laker Turf Building – Allendale, MI
|Nicole||JR-3||South Florida||3.55m||11′ 7.75″||-|
|2.||2||London, Brittany||FR-1||South Florida||3.55m||11′ 7.75″||-|
|3.||3||Leonardi, Carissa||FR-1||South Florida||3.40m||11′ 1.75″||-|
|4.||3||Wilson, Melissa||FR-1||South Florida||3.40m||11′ 1.75″||-|
|5.||3||Morrissey, Kelly||SO-2||Central Michigan||3.40m||11′ 1.75″||-|
|6.||6||Gresley, Emily||FR-1||Indiana Tech||3.10m||10′ 2″||-|
|7.||6||Love, Halley||FR-1||Central Michigan||3.10m||10′ 2″||-|
|8.||6||Johnson, Mallory||FR-1||South Florida||3.10m||10′ 2″||-|
|9.||9||Meredyk, Taylor||FR-1||Indiana Tech||2.80m||9′ 2.25″|
|1||Young, Sean||Unattached||5.20m||17′ 0.75″||-|
|2.||2||Jodon, Jared||Steel City Vault||5.10m||16′ 8.75″||-|
|3.||2||Kettlewell, Josh||SR-4||Central Michigan||5.10m||16′ 8.75″||-|
|4.||4||Reynolds, Tim||SO-2||Central Michigan||4.75m||15′ 7″||-|
|5.||5||Ladd, Chris||SR-4||Indiana Tech||4.30m||14′ 1.25″||-|
|6.||6||Schultz, Matthew||Unattached||4.15m||13′ 7.25″|
Beads of sweat form on his forehead while the rain ruthlessly presses on the athletes in Montreal. He exhales harshly, mentally preparing himself, while clinging to the fiberglass pole.
It’s the year 1976 and 20-year-old Early Bell has just made it to his first Olympic appearance as a pole-vaulter for the U.S. team.
Although he had just broken a world record of 18-feet-1/4-inches before coming to the games, Bell said he was relaxed and excited.
“I was one of the favorites that year, ” Bell said. “The best part was knowing that everyone was watching me on TV at home. But, it’s never as glamorous as you see it on TV.”
Only two inches from the winning height, Bell came in sixth that year. But, in the eight hours of rain, no athlete did his best that day.
Bell was a junior at ASU in 1976 and had no idea at that pint that he would qualify for the Olympics three more times and lead one of the longest careers of a male pole-vaulter.
Though he originally attended ASU and planned on earning a degree in accounting with four years, Bell said pole vaulting became his primary concern.
Bell attended ASU until his senior in 1977, when he only needed two courses to graduate. However, those two courses were only offered in the fall, a busy time for Bell.
“I was competing in Europe and it would stretch into September,” Bell said. “Two courses? I was traveling and doing what I loved, I didn’t want to go back for that.”
Bell went back to ASU seven years later to finish those two courses and finally earn his degree in accounting.
In his long career of pole vaulting, Bell was a three-time Olympian, a five-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) record holder and a world record holder. He experienced the 1980 boycott of the Olympics in Moscow when the Russians invaded Afghanistan. He finally went on to wint he bronze medal in 1984 at the Los Angeles Olympics.
Now, three USA jerseys sit in a framed box on the wall in a jumbled office filled with stacks of papers. A hefty metal building sits near a field in the small town of Cash, Ark. “Bell Athletics” is displayed proudly on the structure which sits in Cash, Ark. with a population of 294 and a distance of 13 miles from Jonesboro.
Bell has taken his accounting degree and turned it into a coaching career in his own business.
Since the opening of Bell Athletics in 1991, he’s produced Olympic athletes such as Jeff Hartwig, Derek Miles and former ASU women’s pole-vaulter Kellie Suttle.
“They come from all over the country to train here,” Bell said. “They are really dedicated.”
Bell said that most hopeful Olympians have to train at their local college’s facility and it’s rough having to work around other coach’s schedules. At Bell Athletics, they can train without getting kicked out.
Since becoming a coach, Bell earned the title of National Olympic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1998, according to arkansasencyclopedia.com
Bell said he doesn’t have much free time to have hobbies, because he’s doing what he loves.
ITHACA, N.Y. – Senior Ryan Pericozzi (Lancaster) won the pole vault and was one of Cortland’s five ECAC Div. III championship qualifiers as the Red Dragons competed at the season-opening Cornell University Relays.
Pericozzi’s winning height was 4.80 meters (15′ 9”). Last season, that would have been an NCAA provisional qualifier. This year, however, there are no NCAA automatic or provisional standards. Instead, this year’s men’s nationals will feature the top 13 declared performances in each event. Pericozzi’s 4.80 meters matches the 13th qualifying height from last season.
Women Pole Vault
1 Jenna Marrione JR Binghamton 3.75m# 12-03.50
2 Claire Dishong JR Cornell 3.45m 11-03.75
2 Camille Ginyard SO Binghamton 3.45m 11-03.75
4 Samantha Brady SR Cornell 3.30m 10-10.00
5 Jennifer Markin FR Cornell 3.15m 10-04.00
6 Kelly Hugo SO Cortland St. J3.15m 10-04.00
7 Christi Nassauer SO Cortland St. J3.15m 10-04.00
8 Kristen DeStefano TCPVC 3.00m 9-10.00
9 Julie Orlando SR Ithaca J3.00m 9-10.00
10 Rachel Serpe SO Geneseo St. 2.85m 9-04.25
Event 26 Men Pole Vault
1 Ryan Pericozzi SR Cortland St. 4.80m# 15-09.00
2 Nate Jauvtis TSP Athletics 4.65m 15-03.00
2 Rick Zamora Cornell TF Alumn 4.65m 15-03.00
2 Eric VanAernam SR Binghamton 4.65m 15-03.00
5 Keith Rayburn FR Cornell J4.65m 15-03.00
6 Adam Helman JR Binghamton J4.65m 15-03.00
7 Robb Quiller SR Binghamton 4.50m 14-09.00
8 Ken Bucaro SR Cortland St. J4.50m 14-09.00
9 Andrew Brown TCPVC J4.50m 14-09.00
10 David Kim SO Cornell 4.35m 14-03.25
11 Chris McCarty SO Mansfield J4.35m 14-03.25
11 Connor Ten Eyck FR Cortland St. J4.35m 14-03.25
13 Joe Keleher TCPVC J4.35m 14-03.25
14 Tim Bowden TSP Athletics 4.05m 13-03.50
15 Tom Calandra SO Cortland St. J4.05m 13-03.50
15 Beznik Palushi SO Cortland St. J4.05m 13-03.50
In the first meet of the season, Oklahoma Baptist qualified seven potential entries in the NAIA Indoor Nationals while competing Friday in the University of Kansas Bob Timmons Classic. OBU’s other two automatic marks came in the pole vault. Juan Gonzales qualified on the men’s side, clearing 15-7, while Evan Shimanek punched her ticket at 11-5.75, finishing second on the women’s side.