Joe Sarra tried to explain pole vaulting to someone who’ll never do it. Which is pretty much everyone on earth.

Sarra is actually pretty good at this, for a reason that’s at once logical and antithetical. The State College High School assistant track & field coach is a former javelin thrower. He’s never competed in a pole vault event in his life. Yet, he’s turned State High into a pole vaulting powerhouse as its coach.

While you get your mind around that, here’s his description of the strange and fascinating sport he loves:

“It’s like its own little niche. We describe it as: You’ve gotta be smart enough to pole vault. And dumb enough to do it.”

Which is funny, for sure. But Sarra clarified exactly what he meant:

“You have to be smart enough to know what to do on the runway, know what to do on the pole and understand what you’re trying to do. Because it’s a physics-based event.

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