Vaulter Club’s FIRST All – American placement at the Junior Olympics
(Temecula, California) Vaulter Club was off to the big show in Sacramento, California last week for the Junior Olympics. This was the first such trip that the club has taken with a total of seven athletes that participated. There were some impressive heights made and definitely a staple for what’s to come in the near future with this club.
To set the tone, there was plenty of heat to go around for everyone that went to this meet. On Wednesday when we started the meet, the temps were in the 105 range and much hotter on the turf. By Friday it had cooled down to the 90’s and became more tolerable. There was a coaches box on the field and we were able to bring a chair and umbrella if you could manage to do so without going through the front gates. At the front gates on day two, they decided no chairs allowed in the stadium. So we went to the coach’s area and walked right in with no problem. Each day we met with our athletes and they escorted us in and on to the track as a group. Each day there was an opportunity to have your athlete weighed in and poles inspected. We went ahead and inspected our poles and weighed each of our athletes in the day prior so the kids could focus on the meet.
Keep in mind each day there was a new policy change coming from USATF. Each day you had to come with an adaptive attitude or you would easily go insane with the heat and the changes. For instance, after three days of meets, all of a sudden the wrist band that we wore was the wrong color for coaches and had to be changed at the main check in. Of course we found that out as we were about to walk in with the kids the morning of the meet. So needless to say we were stressed, but the kids were fine. That was another long fiasco and adventure one did not want to take again. Another change was no umbrellas in the coach’s box after four days. It was better each day with a new volunteer and a change they had to enforced. I guess leadership by text and email only goes so far now days. So sunscreen and water was a must to succeed and proceed with this event.
Of the seven athletes that we took, a majority of them met their new Personal Records or broke them. Kaitlyn Swenson going into the 9th grade next year cleared 9’8″ for a new PR that made her very happy. Kaitlyn is a fighter and has the goods to jump very well. Watch out Fall and Winter season, here she comes.
Alexandria Gray became the clubs first and only All-American from this meet.
The All-American title comes when you place in the top 8 athletes in your age group. Allie did just that and earned her spot on the podium with a medal and nice hat that stated that she was an All-American at Nationals and the Junior Olympics. What a five-month journey for this young lady with a new PR of 11’9″ prior to going to the Junior Olympics and then crushing the meet and placing in the top 8 with a seventh place finish. This young lady is the real deal; you will hear more from here in the future. Next year will be a different year and we will embrace the situation and hopefully take a lot more athletes to the event. Next summer we will go again and next summer hope to bring even more All-Americans back with us.
Kids to mention that poured their hearts and souls into this meet and club that should be highlighted. Stephanie Silverlake our youngest athlete made a couple bars and had sensational day. Worried about not making a bar, she soared like it was an easy feat. Proud of Zoe and watch out, she’s coming for a record soon.
Her BIG sister Nicole Silverlake a Freshman at Chaparral High School has soared to 10’6″ this summer already and just about nailed 11 down and soon she will. She jumped her heart out and cleared many bars, but with so many kids vaulting that morning (45) it was hard to get to the top marks. News season for her starts September 26th, 2016. Expect big stuff out of her.
Katrina Meier went in with a great attitude and landing just under her PR; put forth her best effort for the team and came out stronger and better from this event. Katrina battled like a beast and has the biggest heart in the game. Good job girl – you made us proud!
Zack Volpe stood tall as the only guy in the group and he took some seriously sweet jumps at a personal record bar and came up short jumping with a bunch of kids in the 15-16 age group and going into their Junior year of High School. Zack an 8th grader heading to freshman really put on a great show and ended his day with a vault of 12’2″ and almost had a PR of 12’8″, did not place, but crushed it at his level.
Our new join Danielle Pettit cleared her first few heights and almost had a nice PR but came up short with an outstanding effort! We are very proud of all these kids and they rocked it at their first Junior Olympics showing for USATF. Derek and I could not be any happier with the outcome and there were plenty of smiles around when they stopped and thought about all they have accomplished. Everyone cleared a few bars and came home safe, knowledgeable and proud of their efforts. What else could a coach ask for in life!
Up next…. Fall / Winter Travel Team.
10 meets with 10 different clubs and locations. San Diego State University has confirmed and Dean Starkey Ranch in Arizona on December 17th, 2016 confirmed so far. The rest of the coaches have not had a chance to submit their dates yet, when they do, you will know. Just to give you small taste of what’s to come for 2016 / 2017 Fall and Winter Travel teams. The finish line meet will be the 2017 National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.
Long story short is the word opportunity! We try our best to give the kids an opportunity to do their best with our pole vault club. We feel that we deliver more than just a high school team of pole vaulters. A Pole Vault Club in a central location north of San Diego and South of Los Angeles, with a direction and purpose for your athlete to follow and join. Consistent approach that continues to evolve into something phenomenal for our community. We provide and take them to meets and events that will change their lives forever and set them on a path for the future.
Write us an email or come by and see us for more information. Pole Vault Gymnastics is coming back in the next couple weeks for our club members and specialized training. We hope to see you joining our ranks soon.
Doug Bouma, Executive Director, Vaulter magazine – Vaulter Club Inc.