When Megan Comstock first started vaulting, she began like all beginners, jumping about 6′. Early on, during a frustrating practice when she did not believe she would ever improve, Coach Jose bet she would clear 8′ by the end of her freshman season. And if she did, he would dye his hair purple, a nod to Megan who has a purple streak on the under side of her brown ponytail.
Megan jumped 8’7″ as a freshman, and 11’3″ as a sophomore, but she didn’t call in the marker until she and Coach were at Pole Vault Summit 2014. On the day of the meet, with 20 pits set up in the Reno Live Stock Events Center, and a crowd looking on, Megan claimed her win. She handed Coach some purple gel and dared him. Coach didn’t flinch. He rubbed it in his hair and made good on the wager. The Twittersphere started buzzing via #PoleVaultProbs and #PoleVaultPower. Jenn Suhr asked for a photo. Then Coach returned to the work at hand, coaching Megan and teammate Sofia at Pits 8 and 9.
Megan will vault collegiately next year, and her next team will be lucky to have this dedicated, gutsy young woman as one of their athletes.
And Coach? He is still laying it on the line. He promised to shave his head if Sofia cleared 11′ at Summit. While he came home with his hair intact, he is unafraid to motivate his athletes to reach new heights.
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