(Burbank, Calif.) — OnTrack and Field, Inc. (“OnTrack”)—the Burbank,
California–based track and fi eld equipment supply company—will host the winner
of the company’s 2013 pole vault coaches’ competition during a free trip to the
National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada. Rusty Shealy, a resident of Columbia,
South Carolina, was selected from among nominees from around the country to received
the award—the Jeff Truman Memorial Pole Vault Summit–ship—which will
send the popular coach to the two–day convention (January 18–19) offering intensive
workshops and exhibitions for instructors and athletes focusing exclusively on
the pole vault event.
“Coach Shealy’s impressive coaching career, his level of commitment to his
athletes and the event, and his great enthusiasm for constantly enhancing his coaching
skills made him the obvious choice for our tenth awarding of the Summit–ship,”
says Ron Morris, OnTrack’s President. “We are thrilled to honor Rusty as a representative
of all those dedicated pole vault coaches around the nation who keep this
event going for our country’s young track and fi eld athletes.”
The Summit–ship is named for Jeff Truman, a former OnTrack employee,
athlete and pole vault coach who suffered an untimely death in 2002, at the age of
27. “When we lost Jeff, we felt compelled to keep his positive spirit and coaching
legacy alive to inspire other pole vault coaches and athletes. We decided to do this
by selecting someone who embodied similar qualities that we could celebrate as
exemplary, and at the same time, encourage that person to persevere in their efforts
and give them an opportunity to continue their coaching education,” says
Mr. Morris. “We feel that sending our honoree to the Pole Vault Summit is a great
way to accomplish these goals.”
Coach Shealy was nominated by veteran international pole vault “guru” David “DJ”
Johnston, who gets right to the point: “His record for taking TOTAL beginners to
national champions is unprecedented.”
This is the second time Coach Shealy has been nominated for this honor.
The Pole Vault Summit–Ship will cover the cost of his participation at the Pole
Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., the annual development clinic sponsored by the North
American Pole Vault Association (NAPVA) and UCS/Spirit. Coach Shealy will be
presented to his peers at the Association’s Hall of Fame dinner, with his travel and
accommodations courtesy of OnTrack, and Summit registration underwritten by
Like so many past Summit–Ship winners, Coach Shealy feels an early lack
of solid pole vault instruction held him back from realizing his full competitive
potential. He hung up his spikes with a 14’11”P.R., but instead of dwelling on what
might have been a successful collegiate athletic career, Coach Shealy has turned the
experience around, providing coaching support where there once was a void.
As a self–coached prep athlete out of Brookland Cayce High School who
set his school’s pole vault record at 13’7”(’78), Coach Shealy returned to the runway
to coach for his alma mater in 1998. In doing so, he had the pleasure of helping
his son, Chase, to break his own record, and raise the school’s top PV mark to
15’7” in 2001. Chase would go on to be the fi rst high school vaulter in his state to
clear 17’ in 2003, and his father would have the opportunity to go on to coach at the
University of South Carolina (2004-’07).
A specialist in residential real estate since the early 1980’s, Coach Shealy
says he found himself evaluating the back yards of homes he toured as potential
vaulting pit locations. Eventually, his dream of establishing a home–based training
facility began to take shape, and now, as owner and director of Rusty Shealy Pole
Vault, he hosts clinics on his wooded 4.5–acre property, where he meets weekly
with up to 50 young athletes from around the state and beyond. (Future plans for an
indoor “vault barn” are in the works, now that zoning issues have been resolved.)
Among his most notable coaching successes, Coach Shealy includes:
USATF Junior Olympic National Champion Spencer Stephens (1999, 15’11” and
2000, 16’6”); Mitch Greeley, S.C.H.S. state meet record setter (16’9”), USATF
Junior Olympic National champ (2002), 2008 Olympic Trials qualifi er, and current
2-2-2 elite vaulter now training in Europe; and Sandi Morris, 2010 USATF Junior Olympic
National Champion (13’3.5”), currently vaulting at the University of Arkansas.
“I would not be where I am today without the confi dence that other coaches
have placed in me to develop their vaulters. I have athletes for a few hours each
week. The other coaches have them the rest of the time,” observes Coach Shealy.
“This collaboration with coaches allows each of us to do what we do best… When
everyone is unselfi sh and focused on the athletes fi rst, it’s win–win for everyone.”
While his organization’s website claims 69 South Carolina State Champions,
10 National Champions and three members of “Team U.S.A.”, the World
Junior Championship and World Youth Championship teams, Coach Shealy takes
particular pride in having helped student athletes garner nearly $1 million in scholarships
to study at academic institutions around the country.
“Focus on the athletes fi rst, and then… inch by inch, it’s a cinch!”
To fi nd out more about Coach Shealy and Shealy Athletics visit www.
Celebrating 35 years in business this year, OnTrack and Field, Inc. is operated by
Ron Morris, 1960 Olympic silver medalist in the pole vault (USA). The Burbank,
California–based company offers a complete line of track and fi eld athletic equipment,
accessories and apparel for purchase by teams and individuals looking for
quality merchandise, affordably priced. OnTrack’s staff of experienced athletes and
coaches are available for consultation weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Pacifi c time.
Primarily a mail–order catalog business, OnTrack can also be found online
at www.ontrackandfi eld.com. When in the Los Angeles area, track and fi eld enthusiasts
are invited to visit OnTrack at 2901 Winona Avenue in Burbank. For more
information about OnTrack or the Jeff Truman Memorial Pole Vault Summit–ship,
please call (800) 697-2999.
The National Pole Vault Summit is a grassroots developmental clinic established
and continued to promote safety and encourage the advancement of pole
vaulting at all levels through constant education. The Summit structure is designed
to meet the needs of all ability levels including athlete, coaches, and parent breakout
sessions, learn-by-doing instruction and roundtable discussion with the world’s
best athletes and coaches. Sponsored by UCS/Spirit, manufacturer of pole vaulting
poles, landing systems and other track and fi eld equipment, and led by National and
Regional Staff infl uenced by National Men’s and Women’s Pole Vault Developmental
chairmen, organizers assemble the most experienced and extensive staff to bring
a truly unique experience for their attendees.
For more information about the National Pole Vault Summit, please contact
Pole Vault Summit Co–Directors Lane Maestretti and/or Steve Chappell at UCS
Spirit at (800) 537-7117, or visit www.polevaultsummit.com.