Pole Vaulting Archives: 2002 – Most Penn Relays Pole-Vaulters Shun Wearing Helmets

Since the first of the year, three American young men – one collegian and two schoolboys — have died after pole-vaulting accidents. That led to a desire by parents and administrators for conditions less conducive to accidents.

One suggestion was that vaulters wear helmets so that if they missed falling into the landing pit, at least their heads would be protected. But when the 108th Penn Relays began today, it seemed obvious that vaulters wanted little to do with helmets.

The men will vault Saturday, when this three-day track and field carnival ends. Today, the women vaulted — 14 in the college championship division, 30 in the college second-tier competition and 19 in the high school championship division.

The only one who wore a helmet was Louise Snyder of Kutztown State in Pennsylvania, who cleared 10 feet 4 3/4 inches and finished 13th in the second-tier competition.

She said she wore the helmet because her coach wanted her to, adding, ”It’s the right thing to do.”

by: Frank Litsky


Pole Vaulting Helmet
Pole Vaulting Helmet


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