BELLEVUE — At any given area track and field meet, there’s a good chance the pole vaulters know each other.
There’s a unique camaraderie there, not only because it’s a specialized, technique-driven event, but also because many of them train together.
Of the six area pole vaulters competing at the state championships this weekend at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, five of them — Margaretta’s Kenna Stimmel, Huron’s Kylie Obergefell, Vermilion’s Macy Urig, Bellevue’s Austin Thompson and New London’s Jacob Allen — train together at Altitude Headquarters in Bellevue.
The pole vault-specific facility that began as a way for Shawn Beamer to help his son, Chad, train in the offseason nearly 20 years ago has blossomed into the premier place for vaulters from around the state and beyond to improve their craft.
“This wouldn’t have ever come around if it wasn’t for my son no-heighting at districts,” Beamer said. “He came home and he was disappointed, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to find a way to help him.”