Raphael Gelo wraps up collegiate pole-vaulting career

The collegiate pole-vaulting career of Raphael Gelo has come to an end.

Gelo, a senior at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and the record holder in the boys pole vault at International Falls High School, missed out on qualifying for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships for the third year in a row.

He came up short in making it to this year’s national meet taking place later this week in Pueblo, Colo., after being seeded 28th in Division II by clearing 16 feet, 3/4 inches. The top-20 seeds qualified for the championships.

Gelo, who transferred to GVSU from Bemidji State University after his sophomore season when BSU discontinued its men’s track and field program following the 2011-12 academic year, earned All-American honors in the pole vault twice in college by finishing in the top eight nationally.

Gelo’s first All-American honor came in last year’s NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships, also held in Pueblo, Colo., where he tied for seventh competing in challenging wind conditions and cleared 15-11 on his first attempt.

He became a Division II All-American for the second time earlier this year when he placed fourth in the pole vault at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala., with a vault of 16-4 3/4.

As a sophomore at BSU, Gelo competed in the 2011 NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He placed 11th at the indoor meet after clearing 15-11, but failed to record a height at the outdoor meet when he started at 15-10 and was unsuccessful in three attempts.

He set BSU’s school record in the pole vault in 2011 after clearing 16-5 1/2, which is also his personal record.

Gelo, who set the boys pole vault school record for the Falls in 2008 at 14-7, was the Class A pole vault state champion in 2007 during his junior year with the Broncos and also placed second at the 2008 state meet.


Gelo Vaulter Magazine
Gelo Vaulter Magazine

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