When you start a club and coach at a high school, one of your initial goals is to win, of course, and then you start to ponder. You start to ponder the winning of the home meet, league meet, the invitational, and of course the CIF State Meet. Although Tamara Bader and Kyle Gibbs have earned their way to state, winning state will always be the prize gem. After last Saturday at CIF Masters, we have come to realize that the fun is just starting.

Tamara Bader CIF Masters Image by Gene Leon-Guerrero

Here are some highlights of the year so far and links to the articles. The very first one we like the most because it keeps us humble and a little embarrassed after coaching for such a short time. This article was released before the Inland Empire Championships at Vista Murrieta High School.

“Bader, McCann, Due to some of the best coaching in California, the IE has become a hotbed of talent in Girls’ Pole Vault.”

Tamara Bader and Kaelym McCann 1st and second place at USATF Championships 2018

Of course, there were articles along the way and we remain humbled as we watch these kids work so hard and achieve greatness at so many levels. Some days you have it and some days you don’t. Gibbs started out the year with a NH at the Winter Championships and Bader had a NH at Arcadia. Neither of these athletes allowed these results to slow them down. Once the occurrence happened, they instantly went back to work and either prepared for their upcoming year in Gibbs case or work ever harder for what is about to come off the rest of the season in Bader case. It’s not how you start the year or start the track season, it‘s how you finish it!

Seven Inland track and field athletes win Masters Meet titles

CIF-SS Masters results: See who qualified for the CIF State Meet

For this article, we will start with Kyle Gibbs and his valent effort. Since we are not in the OC, we will have to write up this article or no one will. Hate to say it, but we also run Vaulter Magazine and it seems like the news of this area and other area’s of the state never get enough press coverage. So in our case, we will write the story and let you decide.

Kyle Gibbs Clearing 15’1 for a PR at the CIF Finals

Kyle started by jumping very well as a freshman in high school for our area. Twelve feet as a freshman is pretty good for the high school and back then it broke the record. We knew that Kyle was going to be a great pole vaulter from the first time that he cleared a few bars. Easy to coach, likable kid, well mannered, and a hard worker. His sophomore year he cleared right around fourteen feet as he jumped through the track season and with his club. Kyle gained some serious experience traveling to North Carolina with his club while earning All-American status at the Junior Olympics. During his junior season, Kyle has progressed quite well and has reached a personal record in his last two meets. For the meet that led up to his state qualification, he jumped a new personal record of 15’3” and took second place. How could this be? He wasn’t supposed to take second place. But he did and he did so with pure grit and professionalism from experience that he gained along the way. This week he’s trained hard and wants to shoot that personal record even higher. With the right poles, the right attitude and team behind him, we will do what it takes to help him achieve his goals.

We have talked about Tamara throughout the year and the goals that she has set, her kind-hearted personality and amazing spirit. Check out her interview on Milesplit by clicking the link below.

Tamara Bader starting her inversion. Image by Gene Leon-Guerrero

Tamara wanted 12’ but she came up short and when she did she had two other girls in the same boat. The sixth spot for state was left up to a jump-off between three ladies. The bar was lowed to 11’9″ and it was left up to Tamara Bader, Kaelyn McCann, and Bryn Polly. Tamara was up first and hit a huge jump up and over the bar for an easy clear. She was so close to 12’ in the first place that she and her team were feeling very confident. Anxiously we waited and McCann came down the runway and jumped up and rode the pole on down with no attempt at the bar. All we had to do now is wait and see what Polly was about to do. Polly came down and gave a great effort at the bar but knocked it off, leaving Bader with the 11’9″ clearance and her placement to state. Proud coaching moment for her and her coaches. Families and friends were all ecstatic to see her earn her place on the road to state. The quote we loved best from Tamara, was the following. “Coach, sure am glad that we did all that conditioning, it helped.” We agree with Tami, we agree!

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