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A Decade of Vaulting Deficiency Comes to an End

From+left+to+right%3A+Owen%2C+Jordan%2C+Mason+W.%2C+Victoria%2C+Lynda%2C+Nick%2C+Mason+A.
From left to right: Owen, Jordan, Mason W., Victoria, Lynda, Nick, Mason A.

From left to right: Owen, Jordan, Mason W., Victoria, Lynda, Nick, Mason A.

From left to right: Owen, Jordan, Mason W., Victoria, Lynda, Nick, Mason A.

By Farley Wood, Reporter

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Track and field has been a popular sport at Greenwood for years. But this year there is something new for athletes to try out, pole vaulting. It has been 10 years since Greenwood has had any pole vaulters. There are seven students who are attempting pole vaulting for the first time this year.

Pole vaulting is not as easy as it may sound or look. It involves a lot of technique, that if executed wrongly can mess up one’s vault. You have to hold towards the end of the pole, with the left hand over the pole and the right hand underneath the pole. When you plant the pole in the box, you twist the pole so that the flex side is facing the mat. If you’re right handed you jump off of your left leg, and vice versa. Many Gator vaulters are still working to get this technique down.

One second you’re running down the runway and the next you’re already over the mat landing on your butt.”

— Nick Barth

Before this season started, none of these athletes had ever touched a pole or come anywhere close to launching themselves into the air. Greenwood doesn’t even have a mat so that these athletes can practice vaulting, and we only recently got poles they could work with. These seven vaulters have been meeting at Warren East to practice their vaulting. These extra practices sometimes take place after regular practice at Greenwood, and sometimes the vaulters even spend their Saturdays at East practicing. These athletes have been putting in lot of hard work to learn this new event.

Victoria Bucklew is a junior and this is her third year participating in track and field. She decided to become a pole vaulter because she’s always been interested in it and it’s an “adrenaline rush to fling yourself off the ground into the air.” Although she has been focusing on pole vaulting this season, she also does the long jump.

Nick Barth is also a junior who has been a part of the track and field team for three years. As of this year, he is specializing in pole vaulting and putting all his efforts into improving his performance in this one event. Nick says one of the more challenging things about pole vaulting is that there are so many different techniques and trying to get them all right when everything happens so quickly is difficult. “One second you’re running down the runway and the next you’re already over the mat landing on your butt.”

Lynda Scannell, another junior, has been a member of the track team since 7th grade, when she began running varsity for the team. She is a distance runner whose events include the 2 mile, and 4×800 meter relay. She decided to give pole vaulting a shot this year because she had always seen it, especially in the Olympics, and thought that she “wanted to be a flyer.”

Jordan Napper is a sophomore and this is her first year being a member of the track team. She is solely focusing her time on vaulting and perfecting her technique.

Mason Wilson, another sophomore, is participating in his second year as a member of the track and field team. Along with pole vaulting, he also runs the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles, but he is centering more on his vaulting this season. Mason is currently our top guy vaulter.

Mason and Owen Allison are freshmen and they both participated in track in middle school. Both Mason and Owen are mid-distance runners, though they are giving more attention to their vaulting currently.

Since there are only seven pole vaulters the atmosphere is one of loose competition. They enjoy cheering and encouraging one another, especially when they get over a new height.

Being new to Greenwood this year, the team definitely hopes to draw in more athletes to vault in the future. Victoria’s advice for any future vaulters is that “it’s really fun and thrilling, if you like a thrill you should definitely try it out, although it’s not as easy as it looks.”

Nick’s advice is similar, “Vaulting is difficult, but really fun. Getting lifted off the ground and thrown into the air is scary at first, but really cool.”

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A Decade of Vaulting Deficiency Comes to an End