Being rushed apparently helped the winning vaulters in Friday’s 10th annual Jammin’ and Jumpin’ Street Vault at the Henderson Riverfront.

Newly-engaged Jeff Coover had to alter his plans after the men’s competition was moved up from Saturday night because of rain in the forecast.

“We were on a family vacation in St. Louis, taking it easy,” said Coover, who won the event for the second time in three years. “We had to look at wedding venue today in Indianapolis. We couldn’t cancel that. We drove from St. Louis to Indianapolis and then down to Henderson. We got here just in time to warm up. I was really not sure what was going to happen or how I was going to feel.”

Coover, a former two-time All-American at Indiana and now an assistant track coach at Northern Iowa, missed his first attempt of the competition at 16-9. “After the first miss I was really nervous,” said Coover, who then made three consecutive jumps to win the event at 17-8 1/2. “The second jump felt really good and from there I started rolling. I felt like maybe I was jumping better than I’ve ever jumped before.”

Brysun Stately had a similar tale of travel woes before winning the women’s competition in a jump-off with retiring 2008 Olympian April Steiner Bennett.

“I just got lucky and everything clicked together. I got in about 3 o’clock this morning and woke up at 5:30 and got here late,” said Stately, who is four-time All-American at Nebraska and Southern Cal. “I never had time to get stressed out.”

Stately and Bennett successfully cleared 13-11 1/4 and both missed three attempts at 14-5. They worked their way down with one attempt apiece at descending heights until Stately made her attempt at 14-1 after Bennett missed hers.

“That’s where I turn it on,” Stately said of the jump-off format. “It’s less about jumping high and more about just clearing the bar.”

Stately, who had to miss this year’s Olympic trials because of illness, made up for poor performances in two previous trips to Henderson. “I’ve done horrible the last two times,” she said.

Coover, who also won the competition in 2014, clinched the men’s title after Sean Young and Chase Brannon bowed out at 17-8 1/2.

A ninth-place finisher in the Olympic trials, Coover nearly topped his outdoor personal record of 18-5 after having the title in hand.

Coover and Stately took home the top prizes of $1,200.

Eleven vaulters — six women and five men — competed in the event. During the competition, the vaulters interacted with the audience by signing autographs, taking pictures and handing out hats and t-shirts.

Despite the rainy forecast for Saturday, the high school and masters divisions will be contested as scheduled, according Keith Hobson, one of the event’s organizers.

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