Eight years ago, Kevin Burnett watched Thousand Oaks High pole vaulters soar over the bar during a track and field practice.
Burnett, a former pole vault record-holder at Hoban High in Akron, Ohio, competed for two seasons at Kent State. He wondered if he still had it in him.
Burnett, then 58, stayed late after a Lancer practice and grabbed a pole.
“I put the bar kind of low and jumped,” the now-65-year-old said. “Sure enough, it was like riding a bicycle. I cleared the bar pretty well, so I put the bar higher. That reignited everything.”
Two years later, Burnett competed at his first National Senior Games in 2013 in Cleveland. He claimed pole vault gold, and he hasn’t stopped trying to raise the bar since.
He’s traveled throughout America competing at masters meets.