North American Pole Vault Championships

Old Town Clovis is excited to host The North American Pole Vault Championship on Friday August 3, 2012, in conjunction with the Old Town Clovis Farmers Market.

In this Olympic Year the North American Pole Vault Championship will be celebrating the “Spirit of the Olympics” with five former U.S. Pole Vault Olympians in attendance. Jumping in the competition will be 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Nick Hysong, and 2008 Olympian April Steiner-Bennett. Along with Hysong and Steiner-Bennett, 2000 Women’s Olympic Gold Medalist, Stacy Dragila and 2008 Olympian, Erica Bartolina, will guide their respective high school squads as coaches of the San Diego and New Orleans Teams. 1964 Olympic Silver Medalist, Ron Morris, an event sponsor, will also be in attendance.

This year’s elite competition will also feature 5 rising stars of American Pole Vaulting including; 2010 NCAA champion, Jordan Scott; 4th place finisher at the 2012 Olympic Trials, Mary Saxer (NYAC); 4 time NCAA Division 1 All-American, Brysun Stately; 2012 NCAA Division 1 All-American, Derrick Hinch (Arizona State University); and 2004 NCAA Division 3 Champion, Chris Swanson. The High School Competition will be made up of co-ed teams (2 boys, 2 girls) from New Orleans, Reno, San Diego, Los Angles, Clovis and Hanford.

The 2012 Elite Division winner will be crowned the Warmerdam Cup Champion, in honor of legendary Pole Vaulter, Cornelius “Dutch” Warmerdam. Warmerdam, a Hanford native, was the first man to clear the historic 15 foot barrier and held the world record for an incredible 17 year span. Warmerdam went on to coach track and field at Fresno State University until his retirement in 1980.

With the summer Olympics happening simultaneously, sights will surely be set on the world-record books. The men’s record of 20 feet, 1¾ inches, held by Sergey Bubka of the Ukraine, was set in 1994 and the women’s record of 16 feet 6 3/4 inches, held by Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, was set in 2009.

The technique that athletes use consists of several specific steps including: the grip, the approach, the plant and take off, the swing up, the extension, turn and fly-away. Each step must be executed to perfection in order to successfully hurl a body over the bar. Training for the event is no easy task, and the best vaulters spend a significant amount of time both working out their bodies and perfecting the fine technical elements of the event. You have to vault, run, workout and train almost every part of your body. Physics and athleticism work hand in hand as competitors efficiently translate the kinetic energy accumulated from the approach into potential energy stored by the elasticity of the pole, and gain as much initial vertical height as possible by jumping off the ground.

The NAPVA Championships celebrates its 18th consecutive year in the streets of Old Town Clovis. This years’ event is presented by Spinners Records, the “doorway to your musical world,” located in the heart of Fresno’s historic Tower District and Simonian’s Old Town and Farms located at the corner of Jensen and Kings Canyon. Visit Simonian’s Old Town and be “wowed” by their new venue for parties and more!

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