Soaring to New Heights
by TJ Tamura, College Park Junior
Jun 01, 2013 | 522 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TJ training for DVAL, where he earned first place.
TJ training for DVAL, where he earned first place.
When people think about Track and Field, visions appear of runners, high jumpers, long jumpers, and throwers. However, visit any Track and Field event and far off in the distance you will see another more mysterious event taking place – Pole Vault. This group of dedicated, and often overlooked athletes practice day in and day out with one goal – to jump higher and higher. It becomes a significant aspect of their life, as they realize they have joined a special group that begins to function more as a family than individual athletes. The College Park High School Falcons, led by their Coach Mr. Holland, are no exception. Here is what some of the vaulters have to say about the sport, their team mates and their individual goals.

Jenna Carroll, a junior at College Park and first year pole vaulter, says she began vaulting because “it seemed thrilling and fun.” She reflects, “It lived up to my expectations and then some, because we have our little pole vault family now.” Jenna is joined by two other first year female vaulters, Mayuko Butterfield and Katelyn Cunningham.

Mayuko, a sophomore, agrees, “Our club is like a family.” She also added that vaulting is a very technical sport requiring an immense amount of concentration and focus to improve. There is always more to learn about the sport.

Kai Barnes, a sophomore and first year vaulter for the boys, describes the vaulting team as “the best group of friends I could ever ask for.” Kai has been a major source of fresh energy for the team and he is always working hard at practice to “get better and vault higher.”

Junior Tony Vasquez explains that “pole vaulting is a unique sport, and there is nothing else quite like it.”

I agree with everything my teammates have said about why they participate in this sport. However, there is something else that keeps me coming out to the “Pit” – my goal of breaking the school record of 14’8.5”, which was set back in the 1970’s. I have 1½ seasons of track and field left with the Falcons to accomplish this goal. So, the next time you are driving on Viking Drive and see the lights on at the track, take a peak over the west side of the fence and watch the pole vaulters as they sore to new PR (personal record) heights and make their mark on the history books of College Park High School sports.

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