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NW Senior Games 10-10 on 13-160 pole

It has been an eventful day. I need to fill in other recent events, but I’ll start with this entry on today’s NW Senior Games event at West Seattle Stadium. I was walking barefoot on the beach with Rosaura and the dogs yesterday and punctured my foot on a seashell, not just a cut, but a puncture, next to the tendon that gives me my jumping off my toes strength. I could hardly walk on it after an hour or so and was feeling pretty poorly about being able to jump the next day at the Senior Games. This is my first competitive event since the Pole Vault Summit. I soaked it in Epsom salts per my parents recommendation and it felt a little better. I took a migraine pill (strongest thing I have) and went to bed. My foot felt much better this morning, still a limp. Sooo, I went to the Senior Games anyway and had my best vaulting day since 2007 when I went 11 feet. I vaulted 10 feet 10 inches as you can see in the attached video.

You can also see a number of flaws, most of which I have been trying to eliminate:

  1. scooping the pole
  2. not jumping off my toe on my takeoff foot
  3. not being strong on my arms at takeoff (decided bend)
  4. not driving the pole to my thigh

All these led to not being inverted, but partly due to better strength thanks to Jay at Anytime Fitness and McKane at ProVaultNW.com, and borrowing a 13 foot 160 pole from Dave Butler, I was able to jump higher than usual.  McKane has been working with me on technique, so I was particularly disappointed in my reversion to type on the vault.

The good news is that the highest I went in 2010 was 10’4″, 2009 was 10’7″, 208 was 10’6″ so at least my strength training is starting to pay off.  Now to get better technique.  Dick Henrie gave me some tips tonight that seemed good to me, so I’ll work on them at practice next time, such as thinking more of the left arm as pushing up the pole to the plant position rather than the right arm to reduce scooping, and when I row through the pole I need to keep my head and shoulders back as in doing a back flip rather than pulling my shoulders in and down as I row my arms.  I also high jumped 4’6″ so that felt good, since I do NO high jump practice.

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