FORT WAYNE – The location is different, but the talent is as outstanding as ever.
The ninth annual Street Vault pole vaulting competition, which is part of the Fort Wayne Newspapers Three Rivers Festival, will take place at Freimann square instead of Fourth Street this year. The event is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
“The venue is fantastic,” said Paul Babits, the event’s organizer. “We are really pleased with it. I don’t know if they are going to give it back to us next year. We hope so. The reason we moved from Fourth Street to Freimann Square is because of the raft race.”
The event will include defending and past state high school champions, as well as those who came close to capturing titles, with competitors ranging from young vaulters to middle-schoolers to high-schoolers to college to masters.
Bishop Dwenger senior Jared Schipper, who won the Indiana boys state title in June, and Willow Thompson, the recent Ohio girls state champion, are scheduled to compete. The Volz brothers, Drew and Deakin, from Bloomington South are also expected to vault. Drew Volz won the 2010 and 2011 state titles, and Deakin Volz finished second at state this year.
Notre Dame vaulter David Schipper, a Dwenger graduate and Jared’s brother, Westview graduate Joselyn Zimmerly and Fairfield graduate Sophie Brown are also scheduled to compete. All three finished second at the state meet during their high school careers.
There are also Carroll graduate Owen Wagoner, who has gone 17 feet, 3 1/2 inches at Samford; Gary Hunter, American masters record holder and former state champion at Northrop; and Shawn Light from Akron, who has gone 17-6.
“We have four top-notch vaulters in the elite (category) and a lot of past and present state champions,” Babits said. “It is going to be a good meet.”
The event begins with the masters and middle school events, followed by the elite men, elite women, high school boys open and high school girls open.