American pole vault record-holder attends Last Chance Pole Vault Festival

HELENA – Some of the best pole vaulters in the world, and in the state of Montana, graced Helena’s Women’s Park on Saturday.

The Last Chance Pole Vault Festival brought out the best and brightest including Montana high school record holder and 2015 Helena High grad Chase Smith and Carroll College’s record holder Easton Paddon.

The biggest name in attendance was American record-holder and Olympian Brad Walker who has cleared 19’9-3/4.

He also worked with the pole vaulters on Saturday, and had some interesting thoughts.

“The advice I always give younger athletes is get faster and stronger. A lot of times with the pole vault its a funny event because you’re not quite fast enough to be a sprinter or you don’t jump long enough in the long jump to be a jumper. So you got to get put in this little area and so I always recommend for the little kids, strength and speed is their best friend. Outside of that, I’ve given them some technical advice and cues and how to jump and what they should focus on.”

Walker won the men’s competition clearing 16’6. On the women’s side, Sami Raines took first at 11’8.




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