Pole Vaulting: Give it a Try

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Pole Vaulting: Give it a Try

USA's Jennifer Suhr competes in the women's pole vault final during the Summer Olympic Games in London, England on Monday, August 6, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

USA's Jennifer Suhr competes in the women's pole vault final during the Summer Olympic Games in London, England on Monday, August 6, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

MCT

USA's Jennifer Suhr competes in the women's pole vault final during the Summer Olympic Games in London, England on Monday, August 6, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

MCT

MCT

USA's Jennifer Suhr competes in the women's pole vault final during the Summer Olympic Games in London, England on Monday, August 6, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)

By George Panoutsos

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Can you imagine a sport where you run full speed, stake a long flexible stick, and propel yourself to new heights? The sport of pole vaulting has been around since 1896. It was played in Ancient Greece, and is still one of today’s most fascinating sports.

At track meets, spectators gravitate toward the event in the back of the field house gymnasium. Pole vaulting is a spectacular sport to watch, as athletes compete using strength and technique to achieve a high score.

Pole vaulting may seem intimidating to a beginner, but top pole vaulter junior Nicole Cho reassures,  “If a person wants to try pole vaulting, you should just do it because it’s so worth it. However, it’s not one of those sports where you are automatically  good at it. You have to work hard to be successful. It’s such a great community and everyone is very supportive of each other.”

Niles West senior Eddie Thai recorded a 10.5 feet high jump. He began pole vaulting in high school, and has excelled at the sport since. This proves that if you have the slightest interest, you should pursue pole vaulting, because you never know what you are capable of. Niles West has a great pole vaulting program, and it is open to everyone.

Pole vaulting is a co-ed sport. Pre-season workouts begin at 6 a.m. in the field house on Dec. 5, 12, and 19. They are open to anyone that wants to try it, and no experience is needed. If you have any questions feel free to contact coach Jim Lonergan at [email protected]

Photo: USA’s Jennifer Suhr competes in the women’s pole vault final during the Summer Olympic Games in London, England on Monday, August 6, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/San Jose Mercury News/MCT)