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World Outdoor Masters Sacramento

I just returned from Sacramento at the World Outdoor Masters competition. I went with great hopes and came back happy I hadn’t no-heighted, which a lot of people did. Our 55-59 group had high, gusty crosswinds and temperatures in the high 50’s/low 60’s. I didn’t feel right from the start. I warmed up and missed the entire box once. I started practicing on the 13 160lb pole and moved up to the 13-3 165 pole when I felt like I was on it. Something didn’t feel right on every vault. Looking at the misses afterward, it appeared that I was not really on the pole, which was a comment I heard from nearly everyone in our group about their own vaulting. I started at 9-6 and barely penetrated. I had two vaults at 10-0 and cleared the second, but was not getting my hips above my shoulders the entire day. I came in 10th place, which was respectable, given my normal heights this year. At 10-6 I didn’t penetrate ever. In retrospect, I should have started on the 13 foot 160 lb pole as usual until I got to high heights, but I didn’t for whatever reason. My makes at 9-6 and 10-0 didn’t seem to have issues with penetration, but I wonder if I would have felt a little more relaxed with a softer bend and been able to focus more on the getting vertical part. Most people I talked to had to jump on softer poles. Well, I’ve got a lot to think about.

I actually placed about where I expected to. I knew there were several new vaulters who were over 12 foot and more. I would have had to have a breakout day just to be 4th or 5th. However, because of the weather or who knows what, I placed about where I had expected to place with a much higher vault because everyone else was having an off day. Several world class vaulters no-heighted, including Jeff Kingstad, Henry Barela, and Kirk Bentz.

What did I learn? I think that it may be better to get vertical on a softer pole than to keep trying to get the bounce from a stiffer pole. There is less fear of hitting the box or pavement and there should be more opportunity to get the body vertical. Even if I were to blow through the pole, if I could get to vertical fast I would still have a chance, because I was vaulting a foot and 1/2 below my top hand when I was going for 10-6. I’ll be working with McKane Lee to see how to recognize various situations so I can do a better job of adjusting next time. I still don’t have a good feel for how to get vertical, which I find frustrating.

Here is my make at 10-0:


Here is Dave’s make at 7-10:


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