Michigan –To rising Lake Orion High School junior Madeleine Martindale, flying through the air is second nature, thanks to the track and field event she loves: pole vaulting.
Pole vaulting, in a nutshell, consists of an individual running while carrying a pole, sticking the pole in a box on the ground while running and using the bend of the pole to catapult themselves over a bar, landing on a mat on the other side.

If the individual can get over the bar without knocking it down, the jump is considered a success. Needless to say, it is a feat requiring a healthy dose of fearlessness and gymnastic skill, both of which Martindale possesses.

Martindale started gymnastics training in second grade, continuing the sport for years. In eighth grade at Oakview Middle School, she joined the track team, which is where pole vaulting first crossed her radar, thanks to Oakview track coach Carl Zoolkowski.
“He’s like, ‘Hey, you’re a gymnast. Gymnasts are usually really good at pole vaulting. You should try it,’” Martindale said.

The road after that was not smooth sailing. At the time, Lake Orion High School did not have a pole vaulting team or coach, because the OAA League does not include the event in League meets. This forced Martindale, at first, to travel two and a half hours to train with a pole vaulting coach before she began working with the Oxford pole vaulting coach during her freshman year.

from: http://www.clarkstonnews.com/Articles-Sports-i-2012-08-29-248563.113121-sub-Pole-vaulter-competes-despite-exclusion-from-OAA.html

Madeleine Martindale
Madeleine Martindale

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