It’s an unseasonably warm early November Sunday as pole vaulter Cassidy Allen waits at the end of the runway at the PPV Veteran’s Vault Invitational in Warsaw, New York.

Holding a 13-foot, 6-inch pole, she finally takes off running and after precisely 14 strides, she plants the pole in the box and propels herself up in the air. At just the right moment, she rotates her hips, clears the bar that is 13 feet, 3 inches off the ground and lets go of the pole before she lands safely in the padded mat below.

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