Twin sisters Amanda and Hana Moll have been making waves in the pole vault world for several years now, drawing comparisons to the young pole vault prodigy Mondo Duplantis. The sisters, who are currently seniors at Olympia Capital High School in Washington, have been setting records and winning competitions at the high school and international level, leading many to wonder if they could make the jump to professional pole vaulting instead of college.
Amanda, who is the reigning indoor and outdoor national record-holder in the pole vault, made history last night in Reno, becoming the first high school girl to ever clear 15 feet, winning the women’s elite division of the National Pole Vault Summit with a mark of 4.61 meters (15 feet, 1.5 inches) inside the Reno Livestock Event Center. (It is a historic moment in pole vaulting as Hana and Amanda Moll, two juniors in high school, broke 4.50m in the same meet for the first time in history.)
Hana, who is the reigning World U20 champion in pole vault, also had a successful day at the National Pole Vault Summit, finishing in third place and setting a new national record with a mark of 4.51 meters (14-10).
The sisters have been trained by Coach Tim Reilly, who is considered one of the best pole vault coaches in the country and has a track record of producing elite-level pole vaulters. Coach Reilly has been working with the sisters for many years and has been instrumental in their development and success.
Vaulter Magazine has received numerous questions from spectators and coaches regarding the Moll twins’ decision to bypass college and pursue professional careers. Here is the statement provided by coach Tim Reilly in response.
“The Molls are giving absolutely zero consideration to skipping college and going pro, and for a number of reasons. First, they’re rock star students who highly value their education for long term success. Second, they know that there are many domains of maturation they’ll need to compete at the highest level for a sustained time. Management of time, balancing athletic and academic responsibilities, and building a fun and healthy social landscape away from home are all essential prerequisites to professional athletics. There is no large payday for pro vaulters as there is in other sports, and the family has no urgent need for that. And the timing calls for patience. It remains Sandy and Katie’s time, right?
Most of all, the development team at the UW will be the best on earth for them. Since this recruiting process began, Toby Stevenson and I have been discussing how to manage their next phase with continuity, so I’ll be moving onto the UW staff next fall to tandem coach the vault crew with Toby. We’ve coached a number of sessions together at UW, brainstormed, picked each other’s brains for insights, and are getting more excited each time about the power of four-eyes instead of two. If they grow tired of me after a year or two, they can push me out to pasture, but for me it’s a new sandbox to play in, a chance to deepen my understanding of comprehensive athlete training at the next level, and in a way that I can keep supporting juniors in my area with evening clinics at UW. “
To clarify and dispel any rumors, the Moll twins have decided not to pursue professional careers. The actual breaking news is that Tim Reilly will be joining the coaching staff at the University of Washington as an additional pole vault coach, and the twins will continue their college careers at UW.
By Doug Bouma – Vaulter Magazine – firstname.lastname@example.org