Class of 2009 College Signings

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:19 pm

http://www.daltondailycitizen.com/sport ... d=topstory

Column: KSU-bound Bridges raising the bar

By Adam Krohn
adamkrohn@daltoncitizen.com
If you’re looking to get a hold of Jake Bridges this week, that’s not going to happen. Always busy, the senior track and field standout for Northwest Whitfield has spent the offseason traveling all over the place to participate in meets at schools like the University of Florida and Louisiana State University. He also makes the seven-hour trip to Jonesboro, Ark. whenever he gets the chance so he can train with Olympian pole vaulter Earl Bell.

This week, however, his time is consumed for different reasons. It’s winter break for the students of Northwest, and he’s on a cruise near the island of Cozumel with Bruins track teammates Dean Haynes, Cameron Griffin and Drew Smith.

While it’s rest and relaxation this week, next week it’s back to work for Bridges, who continues to work towards both the school’s and state’s pole vaulting records, both of which were set by Nate Woodason in 2008. Woodason’s school record is 15 feet and his state record is 14-9 3/4.

Bridges’ hard work has already paid off big time for him. Last Thursday, he signed a full athletic scholarship to Kennesaw State University, a four-year Division I school in Marietta that has an up-and-coming track and field program. In 2008, the Owls won the Atlantic Sun indoor and outdoor conference championships.

It’s a big deal for Bridges to earn a scholarship and he, along with a few other recruits, will be the first pole vaulters in KSU history.

“Not a lot of people really follow pole vaulting,” Bruins track coach Jason Jackson said. “From what I’ve heard in talking to some college coaches, not a lot of schools spend scholarship money on pole vaulters, because they’re so few and far between and because most schools don’t have coaches that can work with them. So for Jake to get a scholarship for pole vaulting, that’s major.”

It’s been Jake’s older brother Nick, who is an assistant on Jackson’s coaching staff, that has traveled with Jake to different meets this offseason in an effort to get his name out to schools.

Whenever Jake participates in a meet, his personal best times at the events are recorded and displayed on www.gatfxc.com, a Georgia track and field and cross country coverage site used by college and high school coaches to keep up with who is doing what.

KSU javelin and pole vault coach Jerel Langley is one of the college coaches that visits the site regularly and took note of Bridges’ performances, such as the personal-record 14-9 1/4 height he cleared at last week’s Jimmy Carnes Invitational at the University of Florida.

“What he’s vaulting at right now, he’d be leading the conference,” Langley said. “That’s the goal for him, first and foremost. He’s got great speed for a vaulter and he’s got good grades and is a good kid, so he was an easy recruiting choice for us. I’m just glad he signed with us early before (other schools) got to him.”

Langley, Nick Bridges and Jake’s poll vaulting coach Keith Woodason — Nate Woodason’s father — have all mentioned 15-6 as the goal for Jake’s new personal best. Achieving that goal, of course, would mean shattering the current school and state records.

But based on Bridges’ performance at the Carnes Invitational — Nick Bridges said he could have easily cleared 15 on that jump — as well the overall strides he’s made of late, all involved believe 15-6 is a number that will be achieved.

Nick Bridges is going to great financial lengths to make sure his brother gets to that number, investing in $900 poles for Jake to use this season.

“That comes out of the ‘Bridges Fund,’ so he better be getting 15-6 everytime” said Nick, jokingly. “But I’d rather pay (for the poles) than tuition, or him be like me and have to be paying off student loans.”

So as the track and field season nears and Bridges inches closer to 15 feet, all eyes are on him and the future, which, with KSU in the mix, is looking bright as ever.

“He’s got a lot of room to grow,” Langley said. “We’ll get him in the weight room and get his strength levels up, and keep his speed where it is. Once he matures and grows into his body, I think we’re looking at a region and national qualifier by the end of his college career.”

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:22 pm

http://www.thecabin.net/stories/021209/ ... 0019.shtml

Conway's Rea signs with UCA
By MICHAEL ALLEN
LOG CABIN STAFF WRITER


The University of Central Arkansas' track program is getting what appears to be a steal.

The state's top-ranked high school girls pole vaulter, Conway's McKinley Rea, declined scholarship offers from across the nation, from New York to Nevada.

Instead, she elected to stay close to home by signing with UCA for track and field in front of her family, coaches, teachers and friends at Wampus Cat Arena on Wednesday.


"I'm very excited, and I can't wait until next year," Rea said. "Coach (J.R.) Ross has helped with everything on the track side of things. I'm thankful that I can always go talk to him about anything. Coach (Maurice) Sanders really got my pole vaulting skills going."

Rea won the high school division of the pole vault event at the Tyson Invitational this past weekend on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Rea won the event with a leap of 11-0.

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"We are excited because she was recruited by SEC schools, WAC schools, and Mountain West schools, and we're glad McKinley's staying home," her father Shawn Rea said. "I'll be able to go help her practice, and that weighed into the decision quite a bit. So, I can keep an eye on her, and she'll still be able to travel down to Mpimt Ida to work with coach Sanders."
Rea is also a member of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. So, her all-conference and all-state accomplishments came from the track as well as from the pit. Rea won the 7A-Central Conference meet last spring in pole vault, and she followed it up with a blue ribbon at the 7A state meet.

Rea placed second in last year's Meet of Champs to former Lake Hamilton star Stephanie Foreman.

Foreman now is a freshman at Arkansas State, so Rea may be in line for a clean sweep at all three events.

"I think UCA is a good place for her so we can still keep an eye on her," Ross said. "It'll be good for her to go there to."

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:24 pm

http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/news/2 ... s-keydets/

State champion vaulter selects Keydets
By Andrew Giermak (Contact) | Suffolk News-Herald
Published Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Photo by Andrew Giermak

King’s Fork senior Allen Kelly, center, made his decision to go to Virginia Military official on Tuesday, signing a scholarship offer from the Keydets. Kelly is a state-champion pole vaulter and has the chance to win two more state titles in his remaining time as a Bulldog.

The first state champion in King’s Fork’s athletic history, pole vaulter Allen Kelly, signed a letter of intent and a scholarship to attend Virginia Military Institute on Tuesday evening at King’s Fork High School.

Kelly, who started vaulting as a sophomore, progressed so quickly that he was the best in the state just over a year later, winning the outdoor season state championship. Kelly currently holds the best vault in the state for the ongoing indoor season, a mark of 15 foot 8.

Kelly had his mind set on VMI since the end of his sophomore year.

“I want someone on my back to make sure I get my work done,” said Kelly on Tuesday after making the paperwork official.

“If it’s harder being a student-athlete, that’s better for me. The harder I work, on athletics and on studies, the more it will pay off after school.”

That work ethic is what has taken Kelly from a complete beginner to pole vaulting two years ago to having the sixth-best vault for a high school athlete in the nation this season. Kelly’s pole vault coach, Cary Carter, believes there’s a lot more within Kelly’s ability.

“As far as achieving goals and reaching what he’s wanted, he’s doing it by leaps and bounds,” said Carter.

Other than more district, regional and state titles, the 16-foot mark is the next milestone for Kelly.

“He’s certainly capable of doing it,” said Carter, “I’ve enjoyed working with Allen tremendously…we’ve done a lot of things together which have really been memorable for me.”

Tony Johnson, King’s Fork’s boys track coach, is in his first year as King’s Fork’s head coach.

“All I’ll say is it’s been really good to have a leader like him,” said Johnson.

“Allen’s a born leader. We have a few young pole vaulters who have started this year and he’s instrumental in bringing them along.”

King’s Fork’s athletic director, Randy Jesse, praised Kelly for his academic work.

“We expect the hard work and dedication he’s shown to reach this point will serve him very well in his four years at VMI,” said Jesse.

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:25 pm

http://www.houstonconews.com/articles/2 ... stever.txt

Stever heading to South Alabama

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Lancer pole vaulter earns scholarship to Division I program

By Dave Myers, for the Houston County News

La Crescent High School pole vaulting standout Shannon Ste-ver has accepted an NCAA Division I scholarship offer to attend the University of South Alabama.

The scholarship will cover 44 percent of her total expenses, which includes about $10,000 a year in tuition.

In addition, Stever, who will focus solely on the pole vault for the Jaguars’ track team, also will receive a $3,500 academic scholarship.

So it should come as no surprise that academics, more so than athletics, were what drew Stever to the University of South Alabama.

"I was looking for a strong nursing program, and they have the fourth-largest program in the country," Stever said. "After all, academics are why we’re in school in the first place, aren’t they?"

The fact the school is 927 miles south of La Crescent in Mobile, Ala., didn’t hurt either.

"It’s really warm, and I was looking for a completely new experience," Stever said.

Stever even received a phone call from the folks at the Uni-versity of South Alabama a couple of weeks ago when the temperatures in our area were about 40 degrees below zero, reminding her just how different things are in Mobile.

Stever, who has been pole vaulting for five years, considered offers from NCAA Division II Minnesota State University, Mankato, and the University of Minnesota, but ultimately felt the University of South Alabama was the best fit.

"When I visited I really felt like I belonged there," Stever said.

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:46 pm

http://www.wataugademocrat.com/2009/032 ... otorun.php

WHS trio to run,
vault into college
By Steve Behr

Watauga’s track and field teams have sent plenty of student-athletes to colleges on athletic scholarships. The class of 2009 won’t be any different.

Watauga’s Taylor Cook, Thomas McDonough and Kristina Kanagy will continue to run track in college next year. Photo by Steve Behr

Three Pioneers will continue running track and cross country in college next year. Kristina Kanagy will run cross country at Liberty, Thomas McDonough will run at UNC Pembroke and Taylor Cook will pole vault at Gardner-Webb.

Kanagy, who just started running cross country last season when her father signed her up — without her knowledge — said she had some help when choosing Liberty over Appalachian State.

“I felt like that’s where God wanted me to go,” Kanagy said. “It was tough to choose between Liberty and Appalachian. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a Christian school or not. It just felt like it was the right school for me at the time.”

Kanagy finished 10th in the state 4-A cross country meet held at Tanglewood Park in Winston-Salem, which earned her All-State honors. She is balancing two sports this spring, running distance races for Watauga’s track team and also playing lacrosse. She won’t get to play lacrosse at Liberty, but she is looking forward to running track and cross country for the Flames.

“It is amazing,” Kanagy said of the Liberty program. “I like the coach and the girls on the team are really welcoming.”

Kanagy said she will likely major in exercise science and using her degree to possibly become a physical therapist.

It all started when Kanagy’s dad was in North Carolina while Kanagy was in Ohio. He signed her up to run cross country before her junior year to keep her in shape for lacrosse.

“My dad was here working and signed me up for cross country behind my back to keep me in shape for lacrosse,” Kanagy said. “It was lucky time.”

Cook follows the path paved by Sallie Gurganus, who signed to do the pole vault at South Carolina three years ago, and Julie Ward, who vaults at Appalachian State. Already known as a school that has plenty of distance runners, Watauga is also gaining a reputation as being a power in the pole vault.

Cook, who has verbally committed to Gardner-Webb, is the defending 4-A state champion in the outdoor pole vault, winning with a vault of 11-feet even. She also finished second in the indoor meet this season and is looking forward to winning her second straight state championship this spring.

“We’ve had a lot of good girls come out of here, and (pole vault coach) Daniel (Isaacs) has been coaching as long as that tradition has lasted,” Cook said. “We’ve had Sallie who came in and set state records and Julie, who did really well. They were seniors when I started high school, and they really helped me out and gave me something to look up to. I try my very best to hold myself up to the expectations they’ve created in the pole vault.”

Cook was a gymnast earlier in her life, which she credits for helping her adjust to the athleticism needed to do the pole vault event. Proper technique is critical when vaulting, which is also true when it comes to doing well in gymnastics.

“I got to high school and (gymnastics) was way too much of a time commitment,” Cook said. “I had done some track in middle school, but when I got to high school, Sallie was up here and she had done some gymnastics and I saw how successful she was at pole vault, so I gave it a try and it went very well.”

Gardner-Webb can consider itself lucky that it is getting Cook. She said in the beginning, Gardner-Webb, located in Boiling Springs near Shelby, was not in the picture. A call from the coach followed by a visit in November helped sell her on the school.

“It was one of those no-name schools that I never thought I’d be going to,” Cook said. “Their coach contacted me back in the fall and said they were interested and had a full-time vault coach, which a lot of schools don’t have. That was a good thing and it got me talking to them and what they offered.”

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby newPVer » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:23 pm

Well, no big write up or anything, but I'm off to the Air Force Academy next year.

Falcons class of 2013, here I come.
PR- 15-1
Great season, time to top it

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:14 am

http://www.upstatetoday.com/news/2009/m ... harleston/

Seneca's Taylor inks with College of Charleston
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By Eric Sprott (Contact / Staff Bio)
March 26, 2009 - 12:10 a.m. EST


Eric Sprott
Seneca senior Chelsea Taylor signs a letter of intent to join the track and field team at the College of Charleston on Wednesday in Seneca. She is joined by, seated from left, brother Geoff Taylor, father Gary Taylor and mother Susan Taylor; and standing, Seneca athletic director Duke Lee, coach Carl Addis, coach Tom Jordan, coach Chris White, Karen Trammell and Seneca principal Cliff Roberts.
SENECA — As a middle school student trying to find her place with the Seneca High School track team, it was love at first sight for Chelsea Taylor when she saw the pole vault.

Little did the Seneca senior realize then just how far it would take her over the course of five or six years.

Already a two-time state champion in the event, with the chance for a third waiting just around the corner, Taylor ensured her vaulting days are far from over as she signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to join the College of Charleston track & field team next season.

Taylor considered several other schools, including Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Western Carolina and Winthrop, but said what the Cougars’ program had to offer stood out above the rest.

“I took long and hard looks at all the colleges and choices I had, and out of all of them, I liked the atmosphere at Charleston and everything about the track program,” Taylor said. “I was really excited when I decided to sign with them.”

One of the major factors in Taylor’s decision was the fact the Cougars have a coach devoted entirely to the pole vault, which was a necessity after working under Seneca head coach Tom Jordan during her high school career.

Jordan, who vaulted collegiately – with a metal pole and into a pile of sawdust as he pointed out – has been critical to her development in the event, although he says Taylor excelled from almost the very beginning.

“She just took to it naturally,” Jordan said. “We started swinging on the pole and playing in the sand and doing our little early drills. She was able to pass several of them because she was so aggressive with it.”

From that point, Taylor said there was really no looking back, as she knew immediately which event she was meant for.

“I was like, ‘I want to try that,’ and he told me to grab a pole and I fell in love with it,” Taylor said. “I haven’t stopped since.”

With a decorated high school career, Taylor is hoping to make an impact in the coming years for the Cougars, whose track & field program has only been in existent for the last seven years.

For a bit of added perspective, Taylor will be just the third pole vaulter in school history.

“It’s still new, but they’re growing,” Taylor said. “I’m just extremely excited that I finally found a college and a home for the next four years.”

Before that time comes though, Taylor will be looking for her third consecutive title when the State Meet takes place in May.

She has also broken the school record four times during her career, with her personal best coming in at 11 feet.

But the final goal of her high school career is besting the state record of 12-06.5, which she said she’s done in practice, and is waiting to try in a meet at some point before her time at Seneca is finished.

“My goal is to win state, and if possible, break the state record,” Taylor said.

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:26 pm

Katie Nageotte (OH) to Dayton

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:52 am

Two from Texas:

Rachel Fisher - unattached - BYU
Shelby Kennard - Rockwall - University of Kentucky

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:03 am

http://www.codyenterprise.com/articles/ ... 090701.txt

Whisonant picks South Dakota
By Amber Peabody

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Pole vaulter Betsey Whisonant signed with the University of South Dakota on Thursday with track coach Scott Shaffer (left) and activities director Tony Hult. (Photo by Sara Loven)
Betsey Whisonant’s college choice is made, but up until a few weeks ago the school wasn’t even on her radar.

The Cody High School senior signed with the University of South Dakota last Thursday to pole vault for the Coyotes.

“I was really set on Idaho State, and CSU was another choice,” she said. “I hadn’t thought about this school at all, but I knew after my visit it was the place.”

“The nice thing about Betsey is she didn’t just go where she got the most money, but where she could become a track star,” coach Scott Shaffer added. “I’ll be looking for big, big things from her.”

Whisonant toured the school in mid-March. She was impressed by the team and pole vault coach Derek Miles.

Miles finished fourth in pole vault during the Beijing Olympics and is one of the top pole vaulters in the world.

He also competed in the Athens Olympics and holds the American pole vault record.

“I felt a sense of safety because he knows so much,” she said. “He said any weekend we were free, we could go to the Olympic Training Center in San Diego and train. I don’t know many who can do that.”

Whisonant was the school’s last recruit for pole vault.

“It’s an honor to be considered by an Olympian and coach as one of his top three choices,” she said.

After the visit, it didn’t take her long to make her decision.

“I knew I wanted to go before the plane ride back,” she said. “I’m so relieved. It’s really good not to stress about colleges anymore and not get phone calls every week.”

Whisonant was drawn to pole vault because of the excitement the dangerous sport brings.

“If you think about it, you’re placing your life in your hands,” she said. “But basically it comes easy for me. If any coach tells me to do something I can get it on my first three tries.”

Her interest in track began in fourth-grade during the annual elementary track meet.

“I’d liked it and I was good at it, so I decided to keep going,” she said. “I started pole vaulting in eighth-grade and got better from there.”

Also a state champion swimmer for Cody, she has always enjoyed individual sports.

“I’m not really a team player,” she said. “In individual sports I know it’s all about me and whether I try hard and succeed. I like that part of competition.”

She has been one of Cody’s top pole vaulters for the past few years. She finished third at last year’s state championship, but it wasn’t until this year she has really begun to excel. At the indoor state championships this year, she won the event and improved on the old state record by three inches.

“Shaffer approached it (pole vault) in a different way that helped so much,” she said. “I’ve gained more confidence this year since it’s my last, so I need to give it everything.”

With the outdoor season underway she’s looking forward to a great season.

“I’m hoping for another state title and possibly a new state record in pole vault,” she said. “I want to have fun with it.

“Thanks to Shaffer for putting up with me for four years and everyone for their support,” she added. “It’s kept me going.”

Whisonant is currently undecided on a major, but is considering the medical field.

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:34 am

http://www.thesuburbanite.com/lifestyle ... th-Indiana

Green's Ahbe to reach new heights with Indiana
By Andrew AdamKelsie Ahbe (center, front), signs alongside her parents Susie and Brad as Green pole vault coach Eric Allen (back left), girls track head coach Dan Gourley and pole vault coach Mayedene Pfouts look on.


By Andrew Adam
The Suburbanite
Sat Apr 11, 2009, 08:36 AM EDT
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Green, Ohio -
Green’s Kelsie Ahbe, arguably the most decorated athlete ever to come through the school, will continue her pole vault career at Indiana University.
The two-time State champion in the pole vault and four-time letter winner in both track and field and soccer decided to be a Hoosier with her final college visit.
“I’m a a Big 10 person,” Ahbe said. “My dad (Brad) went to Purdue, my mom (Susie) went to Ohio State. I’m mainly an OSU fan, but I always watch the Big 10 because it’s top level. It was kind of a fluke (with Indiana). My mom e-mailed the coach, it was my last visit two weekends ago and I absolutely loved it.”
Although she has excelled at every track event Green coach Dan Gourley has put her in, for the time being Indiana plans to use her only in the pole vault, but she could potentially be a pentathathlete down the road.
“I don’t think words can express how I feel about her and the accomplishments she’s made at Green High School,” Gourley said. “I don’t think Indiana knows how good of an athlete they are receiving.”
Gourley went as far as to comparing her to the greatest male track athlete who wore the Bulldog uniform.
“I look at Mark Croghan and I think she is right up there with him,” he said.
Croghan ran for the USA in three Olympics, so being mentioned in the same breath says just how good Ahbe is at her event.
Both her pole vault coaches were also there for the signing.
“It’s been an honor and continues to be,” coach Mayedene Pfouts said. “It’s Thrilling to watch her perform, go from knowing nothing about pole vault to now.”
“As a coach, you dream of coaching a state champ once in your life,” coach Eric Allen said. “(Let alone) to have a two-time, possible three-time champion.”
Ahbe made sure to thank her coaches multiple times, who taught her from the ground up how to do the pole vault.
When it comes to academics, Ahbe will be taking her 3.7 GPA into something with the medical field at Indiana, but will also look at the school of business on recommendation of her farther.
For the spring though, the main business she has on the agenda is defending her pole vault championship down in Columbus.

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Re: Class of 2009 College Signings

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon May 04, 2009 7:13 pm

http://www.codyenterprise.com/articles/ ... 846409.txt

Bronc pole vaulter signs to compete for Dakota school
By Amber Peabody


Hayden Bales signed to pole vault for Black Hills State University on Thursday as his parents Monte and Leslie Bales and coach Scott Shaffer look on. (Photo by Sara Loven)


Since sixth-grade Hayden Bales has done everything possible to become a great pole vaulter.

Now that hard work is taking him on to college next fall, where Bales will pole vault for Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D.

“I remember when he was in sixth-grade coming up, tugging on my sleeve and brazenly asking if he could get in a few jumps,” coach Scott Shaffer said. “Middle schoolers didn’t do that, and especially not sixth-graders, so I let him.

“He learned on the smallest cross bar imaginable,” he added. “He’s had his ups and downs, but I’m proud of the boy and optimistic he’ll do well.”

It didn’t take Bales long to make his decision. His mind was made up before he left Spearfish.

“I liked the coach, and he seemed to know what he’s doing,” he said. “I liked the school and the area with all there is to do.

“Looking was kind of hard, so it’s a relief to be finished and start the next step,” he added.

His current personal best of 15’ would rank him top six on the Yellow Jackets all-time top 10 list for pole vault.

“I hope to keep getting better performances,” he said. “Thanks to Shaffer for supporting me in pole vault. He put in so much work and dedication.”

Bales enjoys the challenge of pole vault and has always hoped to continue competing in college.

“I like the adrenaline rush from flying through the air,” he said. “I started getting close to school records and breaking them for a point there and knew I wanted to try and do it in college.”

This year Bales has really begun to excel. He won the indoor state meet with a jump of 15’, and finished second last year during the outdoor state meet.

“Pole vaulting takes so much time to learn and plenty of practice and dedication,” he said.

Bales is in the final weeks of the outdoor season. He is consistently one of the Broncs’ top finishers.

“I’d like to win outdoor state and jump 16 feet,” he said.

He plans to study outdoor education or biology at BHSU.


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