Junior pole vaulter Sean Clarke is one of the most recognizable athletes at Penn. He has a slightly unusual body type for a pole vaulter. He’s a bit short. He has long, flowing blond hair, accompanied by reflective shades, long socks, and earrings. He looks like a celebrity. This season, he also has a legitimate shot at a national title.
“The generic body type [for a pole vaulter] is normally taller, about six feet,” Clarke said. “Male pole vaulting is less about height, and more about speed.”
Whatever it’s about, Clarke has it. Last year as a sophomore, he set a personal record in the outdoor pole vault at 5.50 meters, good for second all-time at Penn. He won the Ivy League championship at the 2018 Ivy League Outdoor Heptagonal Championships, and was recognized as first team All-Ivy. He also earned second-team All-Ivy status in the 2018 indoor season.