Soaring to new heights: Pole vaulting at CHS


Elsie Bland

Sophomore Talia McCann pole vaults at a track and field meet at CHS.

Keira Kane, Social Media Editor

Carlsbad High School offers several sports, one of which being track and field. While track and field offers a variety of different events an athlete can participate in, pole vaulting is just one of them. This event involves using a long pole to jump over a bar. 

Many athletes have certain ways they get ready for their sport, and a unique sport such as pole vaulting is no different. Whether it is a superstition or just a regular warm up, athletes prepare for their sport any way that works for them. Sophomore Talia McCann has an unusual warm up routine when it comes to getting ready to vault. 

“To get ready for a meet I listen to music, warm up and hang upside down with my team,” McCann said. 

There are a variety of specific poles that can be used in pole vault because poles with different heights make for a different performance. Each pole is a different height and weight, and pole vaulters choose which is best for them. Junior Leela Hunter uses specific poles for specific types of jumps. 

“I use a 11’6 pole for warm ups and then a 13’ pole for the harder jumps,” Hunter said. 

Nerves are usually a part of every sport and pole vaulting is similar. A rare thing about pole vaulting is that athletes get more than one try.

“I feel a little nervous before vaulting, but it’s nice knowing I have three tries for each height,” Hunter said.

There are many specific poles that athletes use. McCann uses a particular pole when participating in events that she thinks is best for her.

“I vault on a pink 100 12’7” Pacer Mystic Pole,” McCan said.

A big part of track and field is trying to beat records especially your own. While McCann’s personal record when pole vaulting is nine feet, she has also had to overcome several challenges while vaulting. 

“The most challenging part about pole vaulting is putting everything together (run, plant, etc.), and just full sending the jump,” McCann said. 

Taking on an unconventional sport brings its own set of challenges. Hunter has been pole vaulting for two years and thinks that improving her technique is a big obstacle when it comes to the sport. 

“Having to keep track of everything you have to do in a jump while also focusing on a certain thing to improve on [is one of the biggest challenges I face in pole vaulting],” Hunter said.