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My performance at Alki Swashbuckler Beach Vault

Good news and bad news:
I vaulted 10’4″ and didn’t miss until 10’10” — that’s the good news.
The bad news is that I reverted back to form somewhat. I’m vaulting on a shorter pole than I used to, so I have to get more vertical to make the heights — on purpose. I have a 12’6″ 150lb pole and for some simple math: I’m holding about 3″ from the top, the box is 8″ deep, and my bottom hand is about a foot and a half below my top hand. 10’1″ is about where my bottom hand is. 10’10” would be about half way between my top and bottom hand. I’f I’m improving going more vertical, I’m not showing it. From the videos Rosaura took, it appears I didn’t have a straight left arm, My right knee did not stay sharply bent in the first half of take-off, and my left leg did not stay straight — pretty much a total reversion to old form. I’m working on this in practice — again! However, the big question is whether I can carry my practices over to my competition vaults.
I may have an opportunity this Wednesday to pole vault at the all comers meet at Shoreline or the USATF Masters meet at Seattle this Saturday. I completely believe I can go over my top hand if I can just stick to my training. I should be able to go over 11’0″, which is good national vaulting in my age group and would be approximately 7″ under my top hand. I last did that height in 2007. I think I’m pulling it together. My goal is to clear at least 11′ at the Washington State Senior Games. The record for the pole vault at the Washington State Senior Games is, I believe, 11’9″ in my age category. That would take a vault 2 inches over my top hand — also doable, but I had better learn what vertical means very soon!

I practiced tonight with my 12’0″ 140lb pole and was working on getting my form back. It went fairly well, but my high bar drills are beginning to convince me that I’ve got to pike a lot harder and get a much better feel for what vertical really is. My other problem is to determine where I’m crossing the cross-bar and how to wait for the pole to get to vertical before I release. A lot ot learn in two weeks.

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