“I’ve been coming every year since eighth grade. I love the water and the beach, so throw a little pole vault in there and you really can’t lose.”
The Grand Haven Beach Vault, as described by its 2019 Women Elite Open champion Hannah Sailar, is a can’t miss event for local and far-flung pole vaulters thanks to its breathtaking setting and high-caliber competition.
This year’s edition was no different, with impeccable beach weather accompanying a tremendous showing by competitors Friday and Saturday.
While vaulters of all ages compete at the Beach Vault, with age groups stretching from 14-and-under to the Masters division, the main event every year comes with the Open Elite division, attracting collegiate and professional standouts to the Grand Haven City Beach.
This year’s dramatic battle between former Michigan State University teammates Hannah Sailar and Lauren Jenkins ended with Sailar commanding the beach by being the first to clear 13-0. Jenkins made the mark on her third attempt to raise the bar. Both vaulters attempted 13-6, coming tantalizingly close with the help of tremendous energy from the enthusiastic crowd. Neither could clear the raised bar, ending the competition with Sailar in the lead.