The crowd last night was almost entirely masters athletes thanks to Ken Stone and masterstrack.com. Click to enlarge.
I was SHOCKED by how great these guys were as they had never played together before. Mike Soule on the left is an M55 vaulter, and Bob Banhagel on guitar and John Large on drums are M60 vaulters.
THE MEETWhen I saw the results from yesterday the first thing me and Don said was, "WOW - why the low heights?" At the end of my competition today I had the same question but no answer. Great group of guys first off. I really enjoyed meeting and seeing all of the guys in my group. That is half the fun of these meets. Surprisingly many read this blog. Cool! I try to relate to what we all feel as my daily struggles are not new to anyone who vaults, especially at our age.
To start with I was moving poles better than at Sacramento. My new smaller one was great in warm up but too small for a meet which is perfect since I will do a TON more practice jumping next year. Gary Hunter won as expected and I was 2nd. He jumped 13' 1 1/2" (4.00m) and I jumped 12' 1 1/2" (3.70m) - BOTH 4" (10 cm) lower than Sacramento where the weather was crap. Huh? It was HOT and we had a light head wind, but again, for some reason no one could get to their bigger poles. I was the exact same place I was at Worlds except there my attempt at 12' 6" stayed up and here it ALMOST did.
Obviously I'm not thrilled but why could no one jump high here when the place felt pretty good? Mystery to me. My season synopsis is that I made a calculated mistake early this year for which I will be rewarded next year but was punished for this year. I insisted that I was going to move to the next level physically and that I would only vault on my meet series, 14' 7" (4.45m) poles. The intensity of my training meant I could only jump in meets. I got early rewards witha huge PR in Reno and then getting over 13' again at Albuqurque. But recovering from the ding there, and then the inside leg strain, put me way behind on my sprinting. NOW I can run but don't have the same timing on the pole so even though I"m better I'm actually jumping lower on smaller poles. Next year I will jump a TON on any pole that feels comfortable on my two jump days. I will get 10-15 jumps per day and that vault conditioning and timing will come back. The good news is that I am starting me new season next Thursday in awesome physical shape as well as uninjured! YEAH for that one!!!!!!!!!
I can't thank you all enough for going with me on this journey. Your support has been tremendous. I love hearing from you and enjoy seeing you. I am SO excited ti get back to work and of course I will continue to report here. Thank you again and have a great day!! Bubba