Summary of 2013 Pole Vault Summit
As the dust settles (literally) at the conclusion of the 2013 UCS Spirit National Pole-Vault Summit in Reno Nevada, it’s a good time to celebrate the overwhelming success of this years event and reflect on the many factors that contributed to it.
It is important to recognize and thank the silent champions who make it all possible with their boundless energy and good natured enthusiasm. The Summit staff is indebted to the willingness and physical labor of our volunteer student athletes that work tirelessly to get the arena in shape for the 2-day event. They spend literally days and hours unloading trucks, laying down carpet, building runways, setting up standards, hauling in pits and otherwise preparing a superb competition facility to host the National Pole Vault Summit. They avail themselves to disassemble it all in a matter of hours at the Summit conclusion as well - working into the wee hours of the morning. Our deepest thanks and gratitude go to the volunteer teams from Chico State, Butte College, Right of Passage, UC Davis, Sac State, Mt. San Antonio College, Idaho State and the University of Kansas. A special thank you also to Mr. Bill Wenholtz and Carlos Hernadez for offering his direction and skill during the entire process, and bringing continuity and his expertise every year.
Our appreciation also to the National Pole Vault Summit Directors who volunteer their time, oversight and logistical resources again and again, Steve Chappell and Lane Maestretti of UCS Spirit, and Bob Fraley.
This year we were honored to host one of the most exciting and inspiring Pole Vault Summits in recent years. In addition to our own national champions and elite vaulters, we welcomed international competitors including SIX Olympic Champions, several IAAF World Champions, and nearly a dozen current National Record Holders from several continents.
With an international world class field for Friday’s Global Elite Competition, excitement and anticipation filled the air of the arena and 2012 Olympic Champion Renaud Lavillenie did not disappoint. He cleared 19’2” in the Men’s Global Elite Competition and had close attempts at 19’5”. It was an inspiring performance for all generations and levels of athletes from beginners to our own USA elite. He followed it with a marathon autograph signing session that was executed in good humor and extended generosity.
Also a highlight was 2012 Olympic Champion Jenn Suhr and her coach Rick Suhr. They offered perspective, expertise, training advice and support in an amazing question / answer format lecture session and seemed to be everywhere signing autographs, posing for pictures, passing out posters. On Saturday they patiently and graciously signed autographs, answered questions and displayed Jenn's 2008 Silver and 2012 Gold medals for the long line of fans. Her inspiration and willingness to engage with vaulters at all levels make her a true ambassador of the event. We were honored to welcome her.
The new coaches and athlete breakout sessions were a highly successful addition to this year’s event and were much appreciated by all of those who participated. The opportunity for small group discussions with the likes of Steve Hooker, Stacy Dragila, Tim Mack, Nick Hysong and Jenn and Rick Suhr among others was not only technically beneficial, but inspiring and enthusiastically received.
Focused on advancing a safe, responsible Pole Vault culture, the National Pole Vault Summit hosted over 1,000 athletes in 57 competitions and saw just that - a responsible vaulting community. The enthusiasm, eagerness to learn and appreciation throughout the weekend bring energy to the Summit and make the tremendous coordinated effort all worth it. It is because of the willingness to learn and excel, and an innate exuberance for the sport that the annual National Pole Vault Summit continues to grow and thrive. We are already looking forward to encourage - engage - educate - inspire next year.
In recent years, The National Pole Vault Summit honored current superstars including Junior Champions, College Champions, World Champions, and Olympic Champions.
- Renaud Lavillenie – 2012 Olympic Champion - World Champion - WORLD Record Holder 6.16m
- Jenn Suhr – 2012 Olympic Champion - 2008 Olympic Silver - American Record Holder 4.92m
- Steve Hooker– 2008 Olympic Champion-Former Olympic Record - 2x World Champion-Australian Record 6.06m
- Tim Mack – 2004 Olympic Champion - Former Olympic record holder - 6.01m PR
- Nick Hysong – 2000 Olympic Champion - Former Olympic record holder
- Stacy Dragila – 2000 Olympic Champion - 3x World Champion - Former World and American Record Holder
Special recognition to Athletes from all over the WORLD participating at the National Pole Vault Summit.
- Trey Hardee – 2x World Champion - 2012 Olympic Silver - NCAA Champion - NCAA Decathlon Record Holder
- Thiago Braz Da Sila – World Junior Champion - World Youth Olympian
- Steve Lewis – British Record Holder - 2012 Olympics 5th place - Multiple time World Championship finalist
- Fabiana Murer – 2x World Champion - South American Record
- BeckyHolliday – 2012 Olympian - Pan American Silver - NCAA Champion '03
- Rens Blom – 2005 World Champion - Netherlands National Record Holder
- Tori Pena – Irish Record Holder – World Championship Competitor – 2012 Olympian
- Daichi Sawano – Japanese National Record Holder - Multiple time World Championship / Olympian
- Mary Saxer – 2012 World Team Member - Former National High School Record Holder
- April Steiner-Bennett – 2008 Olympian - Pan American Silver - National Junior College Champion
- Fabio Da Silva – South American Record Holder
- Melissa Gergel – 2011 NCAA Champion
- Maston Wallace – 2008 NCAA Champion
- Jordan Scott – 2010 NCAA Champion
- Jack Whitt – 2012 NCAA Champion
- Mark Hollis – 2x NAIA Champion - 2x US Champion
- Kylie Hutson – 4x NCAA Champion
- Scott Roth – 2x NCAA Champion
- Katerina Stefanidi – 2012 NCAA Champion - 2012 Olympian
- Jeremy Scott – 2012 Olympian - NCAA Division 3 Champion
- Chris Swanson – NCAA Division 3 Champion
- Shade Weygandt
- Darren Niedermeyer
- Brysun Stately
- April Kubishta
- Dustin Deleo
- Katy Viuf
- Angela Rummans
- American Record Holder
- Irish National Record Holder
- Netherlands National Record Holder
- Australian Record Holder
- French Record Holder
- British Record Holder
- Japanese National Record Holder
- South American Record Holder
- Mexican Record Holder
- Sri Lankin Record Holder
- Venezuelan Record Holder
2014 Hall of Fame Inductees
Dr. Richard Ganslen
- As an athlete, Dr. Ganslen was only defeated 4 times in college competition and undefeated his senior year, while at Columbia University in NY. An athlete, coach, engineer, scientist, and author, Dr. Ganslen was known to thousands as the author of “The Mechanics of the Pole Vault”. From 1954 to 1980 he produced 9 editions with a huge compendium of drawings, photos, articles on technique, training, psychology, and a questionnaire answered by the worlds best pole vaulters. His books have been published in German, Japanese, and Russian. Athletes and coaches worldwide in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s were self taught with a cherished copy of this book carried with them in their track bag to practice, competitions and studied diligently at home. Dr. Ganslen passed away in 1995 at the age of 78 – he is missed but his work is still praised today as it transcends generations.
– Athlete, author, motivational speaker and now coach, Tim is often referred to as the 2004 Olympic Champion. The pinnacle of success for any “Olympic sport” athlete, but his story and path to success is what make Tim Mack’s success even more special. Upon trying the Pole Vault, Tim becoming a student of the event, and hungry to continue to improve, he eventually earned a place on the University of Tennessee track team after a short time at Malone College. After college, Tim worked odd jobs trying to earn enough money to survive while pursuing a dream to compete at the Olympic Games. A World Championship Team member in 2001, Tim went into the meet accomplished but came out with the fire and focus of the next Olympic Champion. For the next 3 years Tim and his coach Jim Bemiller made the distinct choice to focus their energy on achieving that goal. Along the way Tim not only refined the technical model for success in the pole vault but they built the character and foundation that will carry him to life long achievements Above and Beyond. He has formed a small training group in Knoxville, TN where he offers private and group coaching, runs clinics and offers a unique opportunity to young vaulter.. Tim also provides a unique personal story as a motivational speaker. www.timmack.com
– Coach Nielson is most recognized for guiding Stacy Dragila form the Heptathlon to the Pole Vault, and coaching her to be the first ever Woman’s Pole Vault Olympic Champion and helping popularize women’s pole vault around the world. Together, Dave and Stacy were a vital part of women’s pole vault development. For many years Coach Nielson was the USATF Women’s Pole Vault Developmental Chairman. Not only instrumental in the Pole Vault, Dave has been the Head Track and Field coach at Idaho State University for more than 27 years. Dave has published articles in the Pole Vault Standard, Track Coach, IAAF New Studies in Athletics, as well as featured articles in the Track and Filed Coaches Review. Never wavering from the importance of education, Coach Nielson’s student-athletes have received countless academic honors, including more Big Sky Scholar Athlete honors than any other sport at Idaho State. Dave is committed to not only developing athletes, but also well-rounded people, and his influence reaches far beyond just the Pole Vault pit.