HILLSBOROUGH, NC – A rising senior at Cedar Ridge High school overcame all odds and placed third in pole vaulting at the 2012 New Balance Nationals outdoor track and field meet.
The New Balance Nationals were split into two categories, elite and emerging elite. Ethan Smith qualified for the emerging elite category, barely missing the cut off for elite.
To qualify for the elite category one’s personal best height has to be 15-feet, 5-inches or better. Even though Smith had a bruised toe, he was able to finish ninth.
In the emerging elite category he came in third. His highest jump was 15-feet, 2-inches, which beat multiple athletes in the elite category.
Smith came just short of his personal best at this event which is 15-feet, 3-inches. source
EUGENE, Ore. - Brad Walker climbed aboard the Team USA plane to London today, winning the pole vault at the U.S. Olympic Trials and returning to his sport’s biggest stage for the second time. The former Husky won his fourth U.S. Outdoor Championship and first since 2009, and can no compete for the one thing missing from his trophy case, an Olympic medal. Walker has World Championship gold and owns the American record in the pole vault, but his previous Olympic experience in Beijing in 2008 ended in heartbreak as he no-heighted. A string of injuries then hampered him the past few years, but over the past year Walker showed he was returning to form. He won the U.S. Indoor title earlier this year and then won bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Turkey. Today, in less than stellar vaulting conditions at Oregon’s Hayward Field, Walker was the only competitor to clear 18-feet, 7.25-inches. Fellow Husky NCAA Champion Scott Roth was battling for a spot as well, and his Olympic chances were on his own pole, so to speak. Roth was one of just five vaulters to make 18-4 ½, and he then passed up to 18-9 ¼, which is the Olympic “A” standard that all competitors need to make it to London. more
Jeremy Scott woke up Friday morning an Olympian. The 31-year-old pole vaulter, born and raised in Norfolk, Neb., earned his spot Thursday night at the U.S. Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. But it wasn’t until after a night of tossing and turning that it sank in. “I woke up at 4:30 this morning and I started realizing, ‘Holy cow, we finally did it,’” he said. “It’s kind of cool, especially being a small-town kid from Norfolk. I’m still kind of at a loss for words.” Scott finished second with a mark of 18 feet, 4½ inches. Brad Walker was first, and Scott’s good buddy Derek Miles, an assistant coach at South Dakota, earned the third berth. That made it even more special, Scott said. The two of them first had to sit and watch a nerve-racking 10 minutes or so as two other jumpers tried to beat the Olympic A qualifying standard of 18-9 three times and failed. Now it’s on to the Olympics, where they’ll compete in the preliminaries Aug. 8 and possibly the finals Aug. 10. Scott said it’s a defining moment, making the struggle to earn a living as a pole vaulter worthwhile. “I think it kind of validates my whole career,” he said. “If I would go the whole time and never make the Olympics, people would say I’m just another pole vaulter. Now I can say I’m an Olympian.” A very tall Olympian — Scott stands nearly 6-foot-10. He grew four inches in college after winning the all-class gold medal in the pole vault for Norfolk High School at the 1999 state meet. Scott also played football and basketball and planned to play at South Dakota before following Coyotes offensive coordinator Blair Hrovat to Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. He was a big target at wide receiver, and he played for two years before a broken foot ended his football career — he couldn’t make lateral cuts any more. Continue reading
Pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva has said she is 90 percent ready to compete at the Olympics next month after rediscovering her love for the sport.Isinbayeva set a new indoor world record of 5 meters 1 centimeter in Stockholm in February, her first record since 2009 following a spell marked by injury and disappointing results.“At the moment, I’m 90 percent ready,” she said, adding that she still had to “make some corrections”.“I’m confident that I’ll have enough time to prepare.”The Russian’s charge to retain her 2008 Olympic title follows a time in which she fell out of love with pole vaulting for a while, Isinbayeva said.“I really had some problems with motivation some time ago. But then I realized how many great things I’ve done and still can do.”“Now I take pleasure from training. I train twice a day. I run, I jump, I do gymnastics.”Isinbayeva is focusing the full force of her new-found self-belief on winning the gold medal in London, she said.“It’s my main aim. I’ll do everything possible and impossible to win.”Her challengers for the pole vault title include Britain’s Holly Bleasdale, who secured her place at the Olympics on Sunday.Isinbayeva has said previously she will retire in 2013 after Moscow hosts the athletics world championships.Her world outdoor record stands at 5 meters 6 centimeters, set in 2009. more
Philadelphia –OH BOY, here we go again. The former Drexel University student with a penchant for Olympic pole-vaulting tales and romantic horseback rides on the beach — yes, Jocelyn Kirsch — was arrested this month in California for shoplifting and other crimes, law-enforcement authorities said Thursday. What could have possibly led to her alleged relapse? A handbag, label unknown, police said. Kirsch’s June 17 felony arrest at a Walnut Creek mall also violates her federal probation, and she again may have to face a federal judge and possibly go back to jail. It’s unclear which jurisdiction — Northern California or Philadelphia — would hold that hearing and when it would be held. Still, it’s possible that Kirsch, half of the infamous “Bonnie and Clyde” identity-theft duo, could return to the scene of the pair’s crimes. Jocelyn Kirsch supposedly told everyone that she qualified for 2004 Athens olympics as a vaulter. She even posted a muddled facebook picture of her scaling an olympic height, when the person clearly wasn’t her. more
USD alum qualifies for U.S. team a third time despite injury. University of South Dakota assistant track coach Derek Miles will be an Olympian for the third time after qualifying for the U.S. team in the pole vault on Thursday night in Eugene, Ore. as a 39-year-old.Miles, a California native and USD graduate who lives in Tea, was participating in his fourth U.S. Olympic Trials this week.After finishing fourth at the 2000 Trials and just missing out on making the team, he competed for the U.S. at the 2004 Games in Athens, finishing seventh, and the 2008 Games in Beijing, finishing fourth. He is the third three-time member of the U.S. Olympic team in the pole vault in history, joining Bob Richards (1948, ’52 and ’56) and Earl Bell (1976, ’84, ’88).“This didn’t happen the way I would have wanted it to happen,” Miles said. “But given the circumstances and the conditions, I’ll take it.”After clearing 17-8.5 in his first attempt, he needed three attempts to clear 18-0.5. He then cleared 18-4.5 on his second attempt. Three other vaulters also cleared that height and, like Miles, failed to go higher.Scott Roth, who would have been given third place in a conventional pole vault competition, did not have “A” qualifying heights entering the Trials. Miles, by virtue of a leap of 18-9.25 in Germany last July that gave him “A” status, finished ahead of Roth and Mark Hollis and joined Trials winner Brad Walker, the lone vaulter to clear 18-7.25, and second-place Jeremy Scott, from Norfolk, Neb., on the team. more
Women′s pole vault icon Yelena Isinbayeva said on Saturday will retire after the 2013 home world championships in Moscow. “Next year will be my last year, I will quit afterwards,” Isinbayeva told a news conference at the European championships in Helsinki where she is not competing. Isinbayeva, 30, has dominated the discipline with 28 career world records – just eight shy of the 36 her Ukrainian mentor Sergey Bubka achieved. Her outdoor mark stands at 5.06m and the indoor mark at 5.01m. No other woman has cleared five metres. The Russian also has two world titles and now seeks a third straight Olympic gold in London, with three upcoming day meets on her agenda rather than the Helsinki championships in the buildup. “I am fully motivated but focussed on victory at the Olympic Games in London. I am 90 per cent ready for that now,” she said source
NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS– If Superman can do it, so can I. At least that’s what I’m telling myself as I stand, muscles quivering, halfway down a track that leads to what looks vaguely like a stadium goalpost in a barn outside of New Braunfels. Happily, a fluffy pad the size of my living room is ready to receive me when I soar over the crossbars. If I somehow overshoot the pad, which I doubt is even possible, a cozy looking cornfield, all tender green husks and cushy stalks, lies beyond. I squeeze my eyes shut for a nanosecond, rock back on my right foot and blast down the runway, pushing a 10-foot pole along the rubber-coated pathway in front of me. As it slips into a metal-lined box in the ground, I rock hard against it and — sproing! — catapult myself into the air and over the bar. It feels like I’ve flown to the clouds and back, but I’ve only cleared 5 feet 6 inches. Considering the adrenaline rush it gives me, I can’t imagine how legendary Ukrainian vaulter Sergei Bubka felt when he pole-vaulted 20 feet 2 inches in 1985, a record that still stands. Pole vaulting got its start from farmers and ranchers looking for a quick way to cross canals or irrigation ditches without getting wet. In 1896 it became part of the Olympic Games, and with the London Olympics looming, I’ve caught the pole-vaulting bug, too. Here at Lone Star Pole Vaulting, beginners share space with elite athletes ages 8 to 88, under the tutelage of head coach and owner Kris Allison. I asked Allison if he could teach me to leap tall more