The Bell County Expo Center hosted pole vaulting athletes at the Texas Elite Expo Explosion IX on Saturday, December 30. Jack Chapman, the owner of Killeen’s Texas Elite Pole Vault Gym, provided coaching and support to his athletes while he oversaw the logistics of the event.
“1982 was the last time I pole vaulted. I worked with athletes at Ellison High School as a volunteer for 17 years before opening the pole vault gym in 1985. We have 37 athletes coming to the gym, and we train Sunday through Thursday. We are usually at track meets the other days,” explained Chapman. “Thirty-two of our athletes are competing here today. Our four core values are faith, family, academics, and athletics. These kids work hard, and they’re very passionate about what they do. I’m blessed in so many ways.”
The event featured five pits set up in the Garth Arena and over 290 vaulters divided into 16 different divisions. Volunteers working the floor were coaches and families of past and present athletes.