Life of a Collegiate Vaulter

High School: Senior Year

Senior year started slowly. I didn’t have the poles I needed to jump on, so my season started out on short runs. I was doing 7 left runs by the end of my junior year (using the 14′ 145), but the 14′ 145 ended up being my 5 step pole during the indoor season. The next largest pole we had was a 14’7″ 175 Spirit, so pole selection options were slim to say the least. Also, none of my competitors used similar poles to me, so borrowing poles unfortunately wasn’t an option. Thus, I started out my season using the 14′ 145 from a 5 left run and jumping 12’6″ at essentially every single meet. Luckily, this was enough to qualify for the Meet of Champions.

A couple of 12’6″ meets later, my coach finally decides that he’s going to buy me a pole. It ends up being a relatively stiff 14’7″ 150 spirit, which was a pretty big jump from the 14′ 145 I was using. I struggled to use it for the first 2 weeks, given that I was unable to practice pole vaulting because of the difficult weather conditions, so my only time with that pole was during the warmups before meets. Eventually, I managed to jump on it, and I was able to slowly clear 13′, and finally 13’6″. The meet I jumped 13’6″ at, I also happened to get the meet record, which was previously 12’9″.

The rest of indoor went reasonably well. I managed to medal at the Indoor PTFCA Carnival (5th, 13’6″) and the TFCAofGP Meet of Champions (4th, 13’6″), but states was a little rocky. I struggled with pole selection, as my club coach brought a couple of 14’6″ carbons that I played around with, but ended up not using. I ended up placing 14th with a 13 foot jump. This, obviously, wasn’t the state meet I wanted, but I couldn’t complain.

Once again, the only actually half-decent part of my vault is the inversion. I believe this is a miss at 13’6″
Outdoor started slowly as well. I struggled mentally with college decisions, and I only managed 13′ at my first five or six meets. Fortunately, I managed to regain my confidence when college decisions came out, and slowly began improving. I jumped 13’6″ again, and then 14′, and eventually 14′ 3.25″. The last height was enough to qualify me for the Penn Relays, which I unfortunately didn’t partake in because of some registration issues, and New Balance Outdoor Nationals, which was unfortunately the day after my graduation.
I learned how to pull through! Kind of. I still really don’t know what I’m doing with that.
My coach also decided that he needed me to score points in more than just pole vault, so I was re-introduced to more events, namely the jumps.

However, my senior spring season ended in a wreck. Less than a week before my conference meet and 2 weeks before districts, I landed foot-first onto the mat. Unfortunately, there happened to be a hole on the mat that I used (Radnor is well known for having the shittiest mat in both DELCO and the central league), and I landed from 14 feet in the air onto concrete. I ended up having a sprained achilles, and the estimated time for recovery was about a month or so. This, in turn, ruined my senior year. I couldn’t take part in centrals at all, because I was on crutches, and saw as 13′ won the entire meet, a height that I had never missed senior spring.

Districts came around, and I was determined to compete and see if I could solidify my spot for states. I was seeded 3rd with 14′ (my 14’3.25″ jump was at a dual meet), and I was supposed to qualify easily with that height, as top 5 in District 1 auto-qualify for states. However, because of my achilles, I was unable to run with the speed that I had before (Or run at all really. I limp-ran at districts), and had to move down multiple poles, grip down 6 inches from where I usually did, and shorten my run by a left. Also, having not vaulted in 2 weeks, my form was rusty and my top end was sub-par. I ended up jumping 13′ and getting 11th place, outside of qualifying for states.

HS Senior Year:
Pole Vault- 13-6
Long Jump- 17-6.5
Pole Vault- 14-3.25
Long Jump- 19-4
Triple Jump- 37-1
110 Hurdles- 16.9

Pole Progression:
14′ 145 Spirit (Grip at 12’3″) Short 5L run
14’7″ 150 Spirit (Grip at 13’1″) 7L Run
14′ 155 Spirit (Grip at 12’10”) Short 6L run
Cut 15′ 150 Spirit (Grip at 13’2″) 8L Run
14′ 170 Spirit (Grip at 13’3″) 8L Run


High Vaulter Magazine
High Vaulter Magazine

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