18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Monday, January 23, 2012

Video and Afterthoughts on Reno 2012

Here is a shot of the last height of 17'7" I was able to clear.

A shame I didn't finish this jump. But that's 19' speed.

What’s the worse thing about the Reno Pole Vault Summit? When it is over, now I have to wait another year until the next one.

Well guess what friends? The final doubt, eluding my every effort to block out, has finally been put to rest. For months now I have purposely not run through a fly-in timer for fear that my unorthodox yet necessary style of self designed training was not effective enough on the speed side and my current running ability was not up to par with the other elite vaulters of the world. By not testing it with timers, I felt I could remain confident enough in my abilities in the ‘not knowing’ for sure how fast I was actually traveling. Thanks to Dave Nielsen and Idaho States timing system at the Reno Pole Vault Summit, it is now clear that I am fast enough to jump well over 19’. I can hardly believe it myself, but in the two weeks leading up to Reno, I noticed that when I did get up to speed in short workouts, I was feeling pretty fast and even mentioned it to my brother and girlfriend. Turns out, I wasn’t imagining it. Rock and Roll! This fact has already given me a boost in confidence that I thought was already close to maximum capacity. 
What did I learn from the event itself? Oh by the way for those of you who didn’t know….
I placed 5th with a vault 17’ 7” or 5.37m
So what did I learn? Sorry to say that I let excitement and greed get the better of me once again. The energy of the event is hard to deny and keeping yourself under a rational level of control is even harder.  So I need to stay calm, trust in my decisions and finish all my jumps. I am wasting way too many attempts by trying to just feel my way through a jump instead of bowing up and going for it. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, so this is my statement to you, I will not make this mistake again.
Plans have changed. Knowing what I know now and feeling the way I do I’ve decided to continue traveling indoors and competing, leading up to the USA Indoor championships in New Mexico where I will compete for one of the two positions available to represent the USA at the World Indoor Championships. I was on the fence about making a final decision to pursue a serious indoor season, but this weekend I was reminded that I get better through competition. Practice is great, but its not the same, I respond and learn when it counts. So what better way to prepare for the Olympic Trials then through continuous competition and success.
So instead of the two week break I had planned, I’m headed back on the road to claim the victory that is close in hand.
I’m not a few sessions, or meets, or weeks, or days, or jumps away from “figuring it out” it’s in me today and I’m dying to show it off. 


  1. Glad you were up to jumping in Reno. It was fun to watch the Friday night competition.

  2. You are definitely right on target with this plan, Paul... Go for it!

    Nick Vogt