Vaulter Club Takes a Team of Six to the Junior Olympics

(Cerritos College, Norwalk, California) June 26, 2016 turned out to be a great day for the Vaulter Club kids and their team. Meeting at Cerritos College for the USTAF Region 15 Finals, the team of ladies would come out with five competitors that would move on to the junior Olympics in Sacramento, California July 26th, 2016. The sixth competitor is Zack Volpe the only boy in the group and an 8th grader out of San Marcos, California.

All six girls that the Finals meet for USATF Junior Olympics Final
All six girls at the Finals meet for USATF Junior Olympics Final

Quite an exciting day for the club as the boys jumped on Saturday and the girls jumped on Sunday. Two of our boys from our team went up for the meet, Nico Fitgerald and Zack Volpe both hoping to make the team. Nico fell short of his goals but still put forth an outstanding effort on the day. Zack Volpe sealed his bid for his age group and landed himself on the team heading north for the big event.  Zack jumped very well and will have all of the training and meets needed to stay in top form for this upcoming event. With all of the events that are planned for the team, all kids are sure to stay tuned up and ready to go. By 1:30 in the afternoon the club was all packed up and heading back down to Temecula with one meet under our belt.

Zack Volpe at the Junior Olympics
Zack Volpe 8th grader at the Junior Olympics

Sunday the 26th came very quickly for the team and on the road back to the track. Six competitors were in the meet from the club and many competitors came out for the event. Some age groups had more then others, but plenty of competition to go around. Some would make it and some would not, that’s just the nature of the sport.

For the younger age groups we have Zoe (Stephanie) Silverlake a 7th grader making the team right of the bat and setting the tone for all of the other kids to follow. Next up were many athletes and Kaitlyn Swenson came in and handled business becoming the Champion for her age division. Next came the 15-16 girls which posed a bit of a large crowd with many vaulters. Kayelene Nicolazzi came in first and laid down a valiant effort and jumped very well, although not well enough to make the team heading north. She was beat out by a few jumpers that had higher heights. Not bad for a young lady that just started jumping a couple months back.

Vaulter Club girls standing tall. L-R Zoe Silverlake, Nicole Silverlake, Allie Gray, Kaitlyn Swenson, Katrina Meier and Kayellene Nicolazzi
Vaulter Club girls standing tall. L-R Zoe Silverlake, Nicole Silverlake, Allie Gray, Kaitlyn Swenson, Katrina Meier and Kayellene Nicolazzi

Katrina Meier came in next and fought her way through a few competitors and made it onto the team. At first we had no idea if she made it or not because of the X and O’s, but in the end she made the mark!

Last up, Nicole Silverlake and Allie Gray for the 15-16 division. Nicole jumped very well taking third place in her division and Allie Gray would take first place and become the Division Champion as well as Swenson.

There was great competition and the kids had a great time.  Smiles on many faces – which is the most important part of the story.  What is life and these types of events if you don’t enjoy the ride. Slow down, take the time to embrace and enjoy the ride!

Huge congratulations goes out to Allie Gray, Nicole SIlverlake, Kayelene Nicolazzi, Katrina Meir, Kaitlyn Swenson, Zoe Silverlake, Zack Volpe and Nico Fitzgerald. These kids have not stopped pressing the envelope, training and getting ready for these meets.

What’s next?

Next up are meets all summer long to prep these athletes for the big meet in Sacramento July 26th, 2016. The club has six meets coming up in preparation for the Junior Olympics. All planned and ready to give the kids the experience necessary to pole vault at their peek level. Some are fun meets that are local to San Diego and many are sanctioned meets that will give the kids the marks needed at a National level. When you get the time, check  out our website at and what we have to offer as a team!

Good job kids!

Coach Doug and Derek

Two Champions signing our Vaulter Club Canopy - Kaitlyn Swenson and Allie Gray
Two Champions signing our Vaulter Club Canopy

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