“The C-Ram and Hergie Team [which is what vaulters/coaches Michael Ramoska and Dr. Richard A. Hergenrather have named their team of pole vault competition officials] have been officiating So. Cal. pole vault meets for 10 years,” says Michael Ramoska. “Almost every Saturday, starting the 1st weekend of March until the 1st weekend of June, we are running a pole vault competition- from the Eagle Invitational, Arcadia Invitational, Orange County Championships, CIF Prelims, CIF Finals, the Masters Meet and the California State Meet when it is held in So. Cal. We have a regular team of 6 of us during the CIF season which has been together for 6 years.”
During the 10 years this crew has been officiating they have worked with an extensive list of successful vaulters. Coach Ramoska (C-Ram) says, “We have been so blessed to officiate for families of pole vaulters and watch them grow up: The UCLA Woepse kids (Elizabeth, Greg and Mikie), the Starks (Aubry, Madison and Connor), all UCLA Vaulters, the Pena kids (Tori, 2012 Ireland Olympic Team), the Notre Dame Mattoon girls from Rancho Bernardo, the Jan Johnson kids, Chelsea and Clay and many more families of vaulters.”
What makes it so evident that C-Ram and Hergie are doing their job well is how loved they are by those they work with. C-Ram tells us they have a fun and positive approach to officiating and that all involved appreciate it. He says this of the support: “Coaches and parents even thank us so much for making the pole vault a fun, exciting and positive event. Coaches constantly tell me that when they see that C-Ram and Hergie are running the competition they can relax because they know it will be run smoothly and positively. I was recently in the Chicago O’Hare Airport when some parents randomly came up and introduced themselves to me, as they remembered me as the pole vault official when their daughter competed in high school in Southern California. Over the years we have even received gifts from parents when their son or daughter had their last competition with us as the pole vault officials.”
“Hergie and I coached Boys’ and Girls’ pole vault at Santa Margarita High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA for 8 years. We were able to produce many CIF champions and many boys and girls who advanced to the California State Meet,” says C-Ram when asked about his and Hergie’s biggest accomplishments in the pole vault world. “Every year we had at least one vaulter continue to vault at the NCAA level. One of my 1st vaulters was Megan Jamerson who competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials Finals. Another one of my vaulters is Mandy Rowell, who is now the Santa Margarita Pole Vault Coach and has continued a great program with 13’ 3” freshman girl, Kaitlin Merritt and 15’ 1” sophomore boy, Parker Curry.”
These men have certainly come a long way from when Coach Ramoska would pretend to be 1968 US Olympic Team Member, Casey Carrigan in his dead-end alley behind his backyard with his friends, and they have the love and support to prove it. Competing vaulters can always expect amazing competitions with this phenomenal team as officials. Way to rock it!
By: Michelle Walthall