Scott Berzley, Sean Beachnau keeping Kenowa formidable in pole vault

WALKER – The Kenowa Hills boys track team graduated a state-champion pole vaulter in Dylan Kole last spring, but that doesn’t mean the Knights won’t be very competitive in that event for a seventh straight year.

Kenowa has two solid accomplished pole vaulters in seniors Scott Berzley and Sean Beachnau.

Berzley has been a pole vaulter since the eighth grade. He recently hit 12-6.

“My goal is getting at least 14 outdoors,” he said. “I’m trying to get my legs up and trying to shoot myself up. Once this season starts going, I’ll be able to get that.

“You have to practice form a lot.”

Both learned plenty from Kole, who cleared 14-10 in his Division 1 state-championship effort.

“I was always nervous and he kind of opened it up, he and other pole vaulters on the team,” Berzley said. “They were open and energetic. They made being accepted into the group easier. It helped me grow. He basically taught me how to pole vault.”

Kole is focusing on academics at Michigan State, but is no longer pole vaulting.

Berzley is also in the open 400 and the 1,600 and 800 relays.

“I’m excelling in all my events,” Berzley said, while acknowledging he enjoys pole vaulting the most. “I believe we have a chance to go to state in the 4×2 and maybe 4×4.”

Beachnau would like to qualify for the state finals in both hurdles and the vault.

Coach Kevin Winne considers himself fortunate to have both athletes on his team.

“We always need our seniors to step up, and I think both of them have the ability to vault over 13 feet this year,” Winne said. “But they also do a lot of other events for us. Sean is our best hurdler. He qualified for the state meet last year in the 110 hurdles. Scott is one of our best 400 runners. They both were part of our 4×4 relay at the state meet as well.”

Kole had a big impact on both athletes, Winne agreed.

“He wanted to perfect the craft and put in a lot of time and work into being a great pole vaulter,” Winne said. “Like those two guys, he was a tremendous leader for us. He would always put the team before himself. Sean and Scott have taken over.”

“We came back this season with the same type of determination,” Beachnau said.

“In the last six seasons, we’ve done really well in the pole vault,” Winne said.




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