Mark Hollis saw his confidence come back up and then so did the professional pole vaulters’ heights.

The one-time Elkhart resident and Elkhart Memorial High School pole vault coach won the men’s competition at the U.S. Indoor Championships over the weekend in Albuquerque, N.M.

“My confidence is as high as its ever been,” said Hollis. “This is one of my best indoor seasons ever.”

His winning height was 18 feet, 2 1/2 inches. He just missed out at an attempt to clear the 18-10 necessary to qualify for the World Indoor Championships in Poland.

The last time Hollis cleared 18-10 outdoors (a personal best) was in 2010.

Hollis, 29, had spent the previous two weekends taking first place at the Millrose Games in New York (18-4) after a meet at Virginia Tech (18-6, an indoor personal best).

“After I missed out on qualifying for the (2012 London) Olympics, I had a few down years there,” Hollis said Monday, Feb. 24, via phone from his new training home in Knoxville, Tenn. “I was disappointed. I had mental battles. I almost had to learn the whole sport over again.”

Hollis moved from Mishawaka to Knoxville to train and be coached by 2004 Olympic gold medalist Tim Mack.

The long-term goal for the Team Nike member is the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In the coming months, Hollis said he looks to vault in Beijing, China, the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa and the U.S. Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calfi.

There is also a good chance he will enter Diamond League events in Europe.





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