AUSTIN- Harmony pole vaulter Daven Murphree crushed two things on Friday: his fellow competitors and his own demanding standard.Murphree dominated the field to repeat as the Class 2A boys pole vault champion at the UIL State Track and Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Murphree won with a height of 16 feet, 7 inches, more than a foot better than runner-up Garrett Morris of Grandview (15-6).It was also a considerable step up from his state-title height of 16-0 in 2011. However, Murphree said there was a sense of relief on Friday after living up to his previous standards.“I feel great. It feels like a lot of weight off my shoulders,” Murphree said. “When I won it last year it put a lot a pressure for this year. You can’t mess up in district, regionals or state.”The pressure didn’t appear to bother Murphree Continue reading
KLAMATH FALLS —Eastern Oregon University’s Kimmy Moore and Robbie Haynie were named the female and male field athletes of the meet at the 2012 Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships Saturday.Haynie amassed a total of 62 points for the EOU men. The senior won the pole vault Saturday, setting a new meet record of 17 feet, 3 inches. It is his top mark of the season, and the highest vault in the NAIA.He remains the only athlete in the NAIA to clear 17 feet in 2012. Haynie also placed fifth in the javelin with a top throw of 186-8. more
Brown cleared 10-3 to win the eighth grade girls title in East Peoria. Last year, she set the seventh grade meet record by clearing 9-4 1/4 to win the state title.
Brown’s title helped the Wethersfield eighth grade girls to a fifth-place team finish at the IESA meet with 26 points. more
The last couple of years, Faryn Wirkus has been a force on the track scene, winning back-to-back state pole vault championships.She’ll be taking her talents to Mankato.Wirkus signed the dotted line with Minnesota State-Mankato on Tuesday.She owns the D3 state record with a vault of 11 feet 7 inches, breaking her own mark at last year’s state meet.Her top vault this year is 11-8 so far and wants to get to 12 feet. more
STEVENSON, WA. — Josh Berteaux cleared 13 feet in the pole vault, his top height this season, to win the Trico League championship at an eight-team track meet in Stevenson May 11 more
When junior McKenzee Kroeschell needs guidance in pole vault, the Oak Park-River Forest student-athlete and her father, Bill, jump in the car for a road trip.Kroeschell’s personal coach, Doug Lytle, is based in Overland Park, Kan., and Kroeschell and her father have traveled at least three times to the Kansas City area this season to see Lytle.Her dedication is paying off. Kroeschell placed first in pole vault at the IHSA Class 3A Lyons Township Sectional on May 10, and will be one of the favorites in the state meet, set for Friday and Saturday at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.Kroeschell’s winning vault of 11 feet, 9 inches ranks tied for third among State qualifiers. Based on sectional performances, only Lake Forest’s Carolina Carmichael (12-3) and Oswego’s Riley Vann (12-0) rank ahead of Kroeschell, who exceeded her previous personal record of 11-6 set at Glenbard West’s Pariseau Invitational on April 21.
Kroeschell will make her second consecutive appearance at the state meet after vaulting the minimum 9-0 last year.
Her win at the sectional was fashioned with a new, larger pole. Kroeschell’s new pole measures 13-6 and carries a maximum weight of 135 pounds.
To concentrate on pole vault, Kroeschell has made some sacrifices.
“It’s like my life,” Kroeschell said. “I love it so much, I quit the violin and harp to do this. I juggled both, but I wasn’t good at any of them. I quit violin at first, and then the harp.” Continue reading
Encinas, Calif. – When this Del Mar resident sets her mind to something, she does it, and does it all out. The 70-year-old has set four age group world records in the pole vault.
“I’m very determined,” Nadine O’Connor said. ” I have always been goal-oriented. When I have a goal, that keeps me fit. I know I have to be fit to do this. I have to have a very strong upper body. You don’t want to meet me in a dark alley.”
O’Connor’s determination and toughness has helped her set the bar pretty high for a senior athlete. Her most recent record came on April 17, a little over a month after her 70th birthday, when she reached 2.8 meters to set the 70-74 age group record.
A late starter, O’Connor said she didn’t pick up the pole vault for the first time until age 59.
“I was terrible. I was a joke,” O’Connor said with a laugh. “I was absolutely horrible but that really makes me mad so I worked really hard.”
To help her improve, O’Connor and her coach and companion Bud Held, bought a piece of property in Encinitas with a backyard large enough for a pole vault pit, so she can practice whenever she wants, for as long as she wants. Continue reading
Barbados –Pole vaulting, the Olympic event which has been immortalized by the likes of Russia’s Sergey Bubka and decathlete Daley Thompson of Britain, could soon be on show during local competitions at the National Stadium.Yesterday ended three days of training – for selected coaches and athletes – in the discipline of pole vaulting by Venezuelan Jairo Escalona, who has been living and coaching pole vaulting in Puerto Rico for the past 16 years.One of Escalona’s protégés, Joel Castro, was part of the three-day session staged by the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA).According to long-serving Continue reading
Kingwood Park’s Shawn Barber finally stayed healthy – enough – to put it all together. And just in the nick of time, too.In his third and final trip to the Class 4A state track and field meet, the senior cleared a height of 16 feet to win his first state title, and give the Panthers their first individual boys state gold medal.”He’s worked really hard throughout his career,” K-Park coach Chris Elliott said.”He’s been vaulting since he was 10 years old and it’s just nice to see him go out as a state champion. He has dealt with a bunch of injuries, so it’s nice that he was able to pull it out in the end.”Barber was fifth in his first appearance at state. He placed second last year for his first medal, a silver he was happy to take home.”It feels like every year I’ve had to deal with one injury or another, so I was just happy to place last year,” Barber said.He was focused in his final return to Austin this year, even though he once again battled an injury leading up to state. He hurt his hip after the district meet, which hindered his preparation for state.”I was fairly confident going in this year,” said Barber, a two-time regional pole vault champion. “I wasn’t terribly worried about it. It was just another meet, another chance to go out and compete, that type of thing.”Two-time defending state champion Marques Hicks of Hallsville was back at the state meet for one final go, too, but this time Hicks’ best vault was a 15-6, opening the door for the rest of the field. Continue reading
After winning the Class A championship in the pole vault a year ago, North Platte High School junior Allexis Menghini feels good about her chances about repeatingMenghini competes Friday at the Nebraska State Track and Field Meet. She also wants to make sure she has done everything to help her compete at that level.“I feel pretty confident, but I’ll have to be focused and performing my best,” said Menghini.Menghini has set a high standard for herself this season. She won every meets where she has competed and she is the state’s in all-classe leader in the pole vault with a height of 12-feet, 1-inches.In the past year, Menghini has worked hard in the weight room. She says that has helped her stay on top of the competition.“I feel like I’ve improved a lot since last year so I feel more confident (going into state this year),” Menghini said. “I’ve gotten stronger and faster and I’ve gotten better marks.”Menghini will be going into state with a head of steam after setting her current personal best of 12-1 at districts on May 9. Menghini said that she was glad to establish some consistency in nailing the 12-foot mark and it reaffirmed the confidence she has had all season long.“I was really excited to get over 12-feet again and it kind of puts me at ease,” she said.The second, third, fourth and fifth place vaulters who finished behind Menghini last year at state have all graduated. But Menghini isn’t only looking at the Class A title. She wants the All-Class title that was won by Class C champion Aisha Bourke of Elm Creek last year. Continue reading
Senior pole vaulter passes own mark at league meet OTTAWA — Jacob Albright already set the school record once in the pole vault this season, but it wasn’t nearly enough.So, at the Frontier League meet Thursday, Albright went above and beyond that mark. The Louisburg senior cleared 15 feet, 6 inches to win the league title in the event.Albright surpassed the old school record when he cleared 15-1 during the Louisburg Invitational in April.“I had made 15-6 a few times during my indoor season, but this was my first time doing it outdoors,” Albright said. “It feels really good, but I am hoping to do even better than that.”Albright has two weeks left to accomplish his goal, which is to clear 16 feet and win a state title, which would be his first.“Jacob had a great day,” Louisburg coach Gary Griffin said. “I don’t think it was surprising to him that he went that high, but anytime you set a school record that is impressive. I hope he continues to vault well the next two weeks and brings home a state championship.” more
The pole vault has been contested at every modern Olympic Games since 1896. With drastic changes over the past few decades to training methods, track surfaces and the competitors’ equipment, significantly greater heights have been cleared. The sport requires significant speed, strength, flexibility and endless practice to hone the techniques necessary to succeed. The following list takes a look at the last five men to win Olympic gold in the event:
Steven Hooker: Hooker became the first Australian man to win gold in an Olympic athletics event in four decades by taking the pole vault title in Beijing in 2008. He became the Olympic champion with a vault of 5.96 meters-a new Olympic record. Also the winner of the event at the 2009 World Championships, Hooker’s career-best vault of 6.06 meters in 2008 trails only the legendary Sergey Bubka’s world-record heights.
Timothy Mack: The American captured the Olympic gold in the event at the 2004 Athens Olympics with a then Olympic record vault of 5.95 meters, edging compatriot Toby Stevenson in the process for the title. Mack’s best-ever vault of 6.01 meters in 2004 put him in select company as one of only 17 men to clear six meters.
Nick Hysong: Hysong was victorious in the pole vault in 2000 at the Sydney Olympics to take the gold for the U.S. He cleared 5.90 meters and defeated fellow American Toby Continue reading
Emily Brigham was involved in gymnastics and tumbling for many years and competed on the national level in Kansas City. She watched pole vaulting on TV, heard a gymnastics background can help form a strong pole vaulter and always wanted to try the event.
Brigham’s junior high didn’t offer pole vaulting, but she immediately started the event as a freshman at Mill Valley (Shawnee, Kan.) near Kansas City. Brigham quickly caught on and started to clear 9 feet, 6 inches, marks that most girls don’t reach until their junior or senior years. At the state meet in 2010, she took fourth in Class 5A with a mark of 10 feet.
Then, the athletic, hard-working Brigham started to compete in indoor meets with Just Vault, one of several pole vaulting companies in eastern Kansas — and kept on improving at a high rate.
“What keeps me coming back is you are always going to have failure and I don’t like to end in failure, so it just keeps me coming back for more and more and more,” she said. Continue reading
Hart County junior pole vaulter Jared Scotland cleared 14 feet, seven inches to capture the Georgia High School Association’s state championship May 10 at the Georgia Olympics in Jefferson.
“It felt like a million dollars,” said Scotland on Monday about standing on the podium as the state champion. “All my hard work this year has paid off. I have to give the glory to God because I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Scotland cleared 12-6 and 13-0 without any trouble, but scratched on his first two attempts at 13-6.
“I was pretty nervous at that point,” he said. “I just told God if he would help me through it, I’d give him all the glory.”
Scotland cleared 13-6 and then nailed 14-0 on his first attempt. The rest of the field dropped out at that point, giving him claim to the title.Issac Tony of North Oconee finished second with a height of 13-6. Jefferson’s Mason Hamrick and James Howard finished third and fourth respectively. Hamrick cleared 13-6 while Howard stopped at 13-0. The top four finishers all came from 8-AA.
“It helped to compete against those guys all year,” said Scotland. “It really took the pressure and stress off. I felt at home in Jefferson.”
HCHS track coach William Devane was excited about Scotland’s accomplishment.
“We’re very proud,” said DeVane on Monday. “His 14-7 is a school record.”more
As Hillsboro High School pole vaulter Tyler Proffitt staggers his leg and eyes the bar standing 12 feet, 6 inches high, he simultaneously increases his focus and blocks out unnecessary thoughts about technique.All season he has worked on combining a jump with placing the pole in the pit, then rowing out to clear the bar, and then contorting his body to allow himself to keep the bar upright while he falls to the mat.He does not think about those things.“The vaulter’s worst enemy is definitely your own mind,” Proffitt said. Proffitt uses the same technique he employed to pile up yards as a running back for the Trojan football team. As he prepares for the jump, he visualizes himself clearing the bar. He had wriggled his torso over the 12-6 bar in practice earlier this week. He knows how the jump should feel. He analyzes the feel of that moment. He wants to recreate it.By the time, Proffitt began his sprint on his second jump at 12-6, he had already finished the vault a hundred times in his head. He sees the bar sitting firmly in its notches as his eyes descend to the plastic mat.It made clearing the mark in competition a little easier, it was a personal best for profit. He placed second in the competition to Chris Medlin of Hesston. Neither jumper could clear the next bar but it took Proffitt two attempts to clear 12-6. A truth about track but especially pole vault is that athletes want to see each other succeed. They know a championship-level pole vault is one of the most difficult things in all of sports. “If they jump higher, I feel like I’ll jump higher,” Proffitt said. In between jumps for Proffitt, Hesston pole vault coach Vanessa Schroeder gave Proffitt input about finishing his jump. “In pole vault, there are so many different things that go into it,” Proffitt said. “It helps me to have more than one person giving advice.” Proffitt said he is peaking at the right time with a week before regionals. He is hoping to match to the two top vaulters in the state, both from Garden Plain, and Marion’s vaulters Colten Johnson and Zach Hammond. It was a good day in the pole vault for Hillsboro. Jon Carey also set a personal best with a leap of 9-6 to finish fifth. Ashley Bartel and Dallas Jost finished second and third respectively in girls pole vault. Both jumpers cleared 7-6. more
TIFTON, GA. — Most high school students don’t get to experience a state title.
Those that are lucky enough to win one, whether it be an individual title or as a member of a team, most likely will not get a chance to repeat.
Katie Utley is one of those students that has been blessed with the skills to win multiple state titles, and most impressingly she has done it as only a sophomore Continue reading
Baltimore, MD –Pole vault: 1. Evan Rector, Re, 11-6; 2. Russell Rollow, WL, 11-0; 2. David Yacynych, MH, 11-0; 4. Mike Messina, G, 11-0; 5. Eric Higgins, Re, 10-6; 6. Stephen Lee, RH, 10-0; 7. Calvin Pitney, G, 10-0; 8. Graham Knapp, MH, 9-6. Pole vault: 1. Caitlin Davis, RH, 9-6; 2. Samantha Creese, G, 8-6; 3. Kelly Davis, RH, 8-0 more
Bozeman, MT. –Pole vault – 1, Keaton Sacry, Whi, 12-00. 2, Jacob Crowe, Man, 9-06. 3, Kyle Bomar, Bou, 9-00. 4, Quinn Alberda, Man, 9-00. 5, Cody McCloud, Man, 8-00. Pole vault – 1. Emily Schroeck, Bou, 9-06. 2. Sarah Strassuer, Bou, 7-06. 3 (tie) Sally Skinner, Man, 6-06; Rickelle Powers, Bou, 6-06 more
MAINE –Cony junior Lindsey Folsom broke through a “mental roadblock” Monday night in Readfield when she cleared 11 feet, 2 inches in the pole vault.”I haven’t made it past 11 in outdoor yet,” she said. “It felt good. I was getting frustrated. I have no doubt 11-6 will come soon.”Folsom, the defending Class A state champ in the pole vault, first cleared 10-8 at a four-team meet at Maranacook. Then, she decided to go for 11-2 rather than have the bar set at 11 feet.”It’s a mental roadblock,” she said, “So I went for 11-2. I got it on my third attempt.”Folsom said her goal is to clear 11-6 in the next few weeks more