Kingwood Texas Junior Olympic pole vaulter Jessica McPherson took silver at the AAU Junior Olympic Games 14-year-old girls pole vault event July 31 at Humble ISD’s Turner Stadium. McPherson vaulted 3.04 meters, or 10 feet, to place second behind Brooke Brunet of Houma, La. More than 11,000 athletes from across the country came to Turner Stadium July 28 – Aug. 4 for the second-largest games the Junior Olympics has ever had. “It’s been great this year with the London Olympic Games going on at the same time as our AAU Junior Olympic Games,” said the pole vaulter’s mother Sherry McPherson. “Jessica is a very determined athlete and watching the Olympics is very inspiring [to her].” Last year, McPherson beat out Brunet for gold in pole vault at the games in New Orleans.
Dexter, Michigan –Micaela Conter has a lot of reasons for recommending pole vault as a sport for someone interested in track and field.
“ If you are looking for life long friends, great and caring coaches and huge success, pole vaulting is where you should go,” she said. “Throughout the years, I have never left practice thinking I just wasting my time.”
Indeed, Conter was not wasting her time – in fact, her time lifted her to great heights on and off the track.
We will get to all those “heights” in a moment. Because when Conter talks about what really made her experience at Dexter High School special, it has more to do with the team and her “closest friends” than personal success. “I am most proud of the success the pole vault team had,” she says. “In the 2012 season alone we took 13 pole vaulters to regionals and eight vaulters to states. It was a great experience to be apart of the Dexter pole vault team. My greatest competition is on this team. Also, some of my closest friends are on this team. My teammates have always given me support, I can only hope I gave them just as much.”
Conter finished her outstanding high school career with a regional championship and landed in the third place at the Division 1 state meet. She also qualified for and recently participated in the National Elite Athletes Meet in North Carolina.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘I can’t believe that just happened,’ ” Miles said Tuesday from France, where the Tea resident is preparing for what is likely the last pole vaulting competition of his life.“Those three jumps seemed like an out-of-body experience. I really wondered if it was a dream and I was going to wake up and it would be the day of the prelims and I’d go out and compete. The day was a foggy mess of things that don’t usually happen.”
Derek Miles, an assistant track coach at USD who has combined careers as a coach and an academic counselor with world-class pole vaulting since graduating as the NCAA Division II national runner-up in 1996, has fueled and sustained a long stay on the world pole vault stage with what those close to him would describe as a boundless core of positive thoughts. Continue reading
DANVILLE — Troya Collier planted the idea of being an NCAA Division I athlete in the mind of her son, Cirron Clark at an early age.
That idea took root and has blossomed into a reality.
This week, Clark signed an NCAA Division I Letter of Intent to attend Illinois State University in Normal on an athletic scholarship.
“My mom has always been telling me to strive to be the best and to be a Division I athlete,’’ said Clark, who was fourth in the pole vault at the 2012 IHSA Class 3A state track and field meet. “But, I don’t think I realized it was possible until I broke the freshman pole vault record at Danville.
“My coach (Steve Luke) told me that I had it in me, if I stuck to it.’’
Clark, who holds the Danville school record in the pole vault at 15-8, Continue reading
Two Lathrop Missouri athletes will follow their track careers to the college level. Collin Haahr (14-6)and Carl Brunner signed letters of intent to compete at Northwest Missouri State University, a Division II school and member of the MIAA. Haahr was a standout pole vaulter at Lathrop, setting a new school mark and finishing third in the state this past season. Brunner battled through injury his senior season, but cemented himself as one of the best sprinters in Missouri over the past two years. more