The Colorado State Fair played host to a high-flying pole vaulting competition on Saturday.

Pole vaulters could be seen soaring through the air across the Fair’s Fountain Parkway in a daylong competition.

Athletes of all levels gathered Saturday to compete in a statewide competition. High school, collegiate and elite vaulters took part in the event sponsored by Above the Bar Track and Pole Vault Club.

Sprinting across the runway and then launching themselves over the bar, nearly 60 contenders from across the state enjoyed the competition.

Lacey Henderson, 24, traveled from Denver to compete in Saturday’s event. Although Henderson is an amputee, the sport has shown her that she has no limits,

“Even for people with physical disabilities like myself, this sport goes above and beyond. It makes me feel like I can do anything,” she said.

Henderson, a lifelong athlete, competed in the long jump for Team USA in the 2012 World Championships in France. Now, she has decided to put more emphasis on pole vaulting.

“There are no limits and this year I’m focusing more on the sport, so I’m excited to see what it will bring.”

Five competitors in Saturday’s competition have been to the Olympic trials. This year, prize winnings at the Fair totaled $2,350. Jumpers were classified based on height and weight; some soared nearly 20 feet off the ground.

For 10 years, coach Mark Pierson has been a pioneer of pole vaulting promotion in Colorado. He serves as the Pueblo district pole vault coach, as well as the women’s team at Colorado State University-Pueblo, and he’s had a hand in the Fair competition for the past decade.

Lacey Henderson
Lacey Henderson


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