Senior Cole Smith Breaks Pole Vaulting PR

May 7, 2018

Cole+Smith+%2812%29+has+been+pole+vaulting+since+his+freshman+year%2C+and+practices+constantly+to+beat+his+records.+
Cole Smith (12) has been pole vaulting since his freshman year, and practices constantly to beat his records.

Cole Smith (12) has been pole vaulting since his freshman year, and practices constantly to beat his records.

Cole Smith (12) has been pole vaulting since his freshman year, and practices constantly to beat his records.

Pole vaulting, one of the many events in track and field, is a vertical jumping competition in which the athlete must use a pole to clear a bar set at a certain height. Starting off, the competitor chooses at what height they would like the bar to be. Then, they have three chances to clear that height. If they clear the height, then the bar is moved up. This continues until the athlete can no longer clear the bar. In layman’s terms, it is kind of like a reverse game of limbo.

When senior Cole Smith started pole vaulting his freshman year, it was not what he originally intended to do. After a particularly nasty ankle injury his eighth-grade year, Smith decided that he wanted to participate in a sport other than wrestling. Originally, he wanted to do the javelin throw, but since Wade Hampton does not offer that, he opted for pole vaulting instead.

This year is Smith’s fourth year competing, and hours of practice and dedication has paid off in the form of a new personal record. During his junior year, Smith jumped 13’6”, which was a foot and a six-inch increase of the record he set his sophomore year. At the region championship meet on April 25th, Smith jumped 14’0”, a four-inch increase from his last record. “Setting a new personal record is the best feeling because you know you’re getting better,” says Smith.

Smith signed to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he plans on continuing his pole vaulting career. While in college, he hopes to qualify for nationals by his sophomore year. To do this, he must jump anywhere from fifteen to seventeen feet.  However, he has another goal in mind that he wishes to accomplish before he graduates this year. “I’d like to jump 14’9” before the season is over so I can beat my coaches PR that he did in college,” says Smith.

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