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Top pole vaulters to compete at USD

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  • Top pole vaulters to compete at USD

    This would be pretty cool to watch. I haven't seen pole vaulting except for at a couple of high school meets. I would like to see what olympic pole vaulting looks like in person. If this event were to take place in Brookings, I would try to attend it.

  • #2
    Re: Top pole vaulters to compete at USD

    I've watched some of the world's best pole vaulters over the years and it's something to see. You can't fully comprehend a vault over 18 or 19 feet until you see one up close. Same can be said for other field events, too. If you can get to the meet at USD, you'll see three of the best.

    Make a point of going to a really big meet like the Drake Relays in Des Moines or the Penn Relays. Last spring, my wife and I had seats right on the finish line at the Drake Relays and we watched not only some of the best runners (Alan Webb ran 3:51...the fastest mile ever run that early in the track season) but saw some of the top field events people.

    I'm looking forward to the Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR this summer. Our tickets include the pole vault competition.


    • #3
      Re: Top pole vaulters to compete at USD

      I wish I could go because it would be cool. It is hard to comprehend how high they get. A friend told me this is a way to get an understanding of it: Get a stepladder, go as high on it as you can (safely), drop a tape measure to the ground and then keep feeding the tape up to get the top to 18 or 19 ft. Or sit under a basket and then run the tape up and see how high the tape is above the rim.

      You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can never teach a stupid dog anything.


      • #4
        Re: Top pole vaulters to compete at USD

        I think some people would really enjoy seeing a top pole vault competition up close. You have to be a daredevil with a lot of upper body strength, all the while maintaining perfect form, or it just doesn't work.

        And then, you should see (and hear) what happens when a pole breaks! [When the break they are usually at maximum flex and the vaulter is very close to the ground so injuries are avoided most of the time.]

        I didn't participate in any field events but the field events were some of my favorites at the big meets. Each event seems to have its own personality. It's my impression that vaulters are mostly business and tend to be supportive of one another in competition (clapping to get the vaulter going etc.). Compare that to high jumpers...a lot of those guys talk to themselves and when they're in the zone, you just leave them alone and let them be quirky and do their thing. Years ago I watched high jumper Dwight Stones several times--once in a while he'd start picking at the other jumpers and sometimes at the meet officials. Then there's the weight throwers...they get along real well but during the competition, there seems to be one or two muttering to each other, giving each other crap and trying to upset their concentration. They're the tough guys.

        For all its faults, USD's Dakota Dome is considered a top-notch indoor pole vaulting facility. That's why Miles, a USD grad, can talk some of his buddies into showing up. Miles has the highest vault so far this season and there's a strong chance he'll clear 19 at the meet.