VAULTING SKY HIGH
Spring Track offers an abundance of unique experiences to try, with so many subsections of the overall sport. There are races of ranging distances from 100 to 3,200 meters, hurdles, and relays. In addition comes the high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, javelin and pole vault. Laura Costes, a senior, has been doing the latter, pole vaulting, since her freshman year.
“I was intrigued by the event having watched my cousin compete when he was in high school,” she said. “When I got the opportunity to try it, I jumped at the chance.”
The sport requires different skills to be perfected that correspond with the process of the vault. A vaulter will start by running down a track where, at the end, they will plant the pole they run with, in order to gain leverage to propel themselves upwards into the air. From there, with the goal of height in mind, they will vault over a pole horizontal to the ground and then fall back onto mats on the other side. The scores are based on achieved height, so therefore your height becomes your score. Laura Costes holds a record for a vault of 9 feet and 3 inches.
The training that goes into pole vaulting isn’t always repetitively trying vault after vault. Especially before the snow melts, the athletes prepare all of their muscles indoors, in order to be properly fit for spring.
“Our conditioning consists of everything from sprints to weight training.” Costes said.
She then explained that once warmer weather does arrive, the practices become more individualized. A more experienced vaulter would want to specialize in on certain aspects that a beginner would not want to focus on quite yet.
“My own training has an emphasis on the second half of the vault, the extension and twist in the air. In contrast when I was just starting to vault, the primary focus was on the approach and plant, both still very important.”
Although pole vaulting is hardly a sport you can do with others by your side every step of the way, the team-like component comes with the overall scoring. All the scores of the meet from the numerous different events contribute to a total track score. Bedford as a whole group, competes with other schools on a broader scale.
There are six vaulters from last year who are returning to Bedford’s spring track team along with others who would like to try it out for the first time this year.
For those who are looking to give it a shot, Laura had positive thoughts on the process from her start in ninth grade to now, soon to begin her fourth season.
She said, “pole vaulting is fun, the team the training, there is never a dull moment! Like all of the events, there is always a new goal you are trying to achieve, always a new challenge.”