Coach Ellis Keeps EIU Moving Up

Eastern Illinois University, located in Charleston, Illinois, is moving up the ranks in pole vaulting.  Their success is impressive considering we learned that until recently the Charleston area has not embraced pole vaulting as much as other places.  The one and only EIU pole vault coach, Kyle Ellis, says, “Unlike some of the other schools you have done features on, we haven’t had a great tradition of pole vaulting until recently.  I was the former men’s school record holder and now I coach for the same school.  The women’s former school record holder, Mary Wood, is coaching at Gardner Webb and doing great things down there.”

“Each year it’s getting harder and harder to make the team,” brags Coach Ellis with pride.  “As we get better as a vault program, more and more kids are looking to come here.  Each year I have to raise the standard a bit.  I remember my first year I offered a 10’6” girl a small scholarship and she turned me down.  Now I couldn’t even take that same girl as a walk-on.  It’s crazy.  Right now to walk on I am looking at guys that jump 15’+ and girls that go 11’+.  It’s really hard to say that since I was only a 14’6” kid in high school and my second best girl vaulter, Abbie, was only a 9’ girl in high school.  I’d really like to give a kid a shot if they are raw in ability and very passionate.”

When asked who is on the pole vaulting staff, Coach Ellis tells us, “Just me!  Unfortunately I haven’t really had any helpers.  Next year one of my former athletes, Abbie Schmitz, will be helping me coach some of my vaulters.”

Read more in this issue of Vaulter Magazine

Easter Illinois University Pole Vault Team
Easter Illinois University Pole Vault Team

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