Howard Booth Articles

All things masters pole vaulting.

Moderators: Russ, vaultmd

User avatar
rainbowgirl28
I'm in Charge
Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
Lifetime Best: 11'6"
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
Contact:

Howard Booth Articles

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:28 pm

http://www.chelseastandard.com/stories/ ... 3008.shtml

Raising the bar

Booth places second at Senior Olympics

By Don Richter, Sports Editor

PUBLISHED: June 23, 2005

Local pole-vaulter Howard Booth has come a long way since his early days as a track-and-field standout in Mio.

Back then Booth, 61, crafted his own poles.

"The first time I tried pole vaulting, I whittled a pole out of a maple sapling," he said. "I had a pit in my backyard."

In high school, Booth, who was unbeaten in the event, progressed to an aluminum pole, but instead of soft mats, he landed in a sawdust pit.

"I dislocated an elbow and put my spikes through my foot," Booth said of his early trials and tribulations.

Despite the difficult landings and wooden poles, Booth persevered, becoming a talented enough pole-vaulter to compete in the event for Eastern Michigan University in the early 1960s.

As a collegiate athlete, Booth, who cleared a personal best 12 feet, 6 inches, would go on to conclude his career, finishing third in the pole vault in the President Athletic Conference of which EMU was a member.

Or, at least, that's what he thought.

Flash to the present.

Almost a year to the day after returning to pole vaulting, Booth, a Dexter Township resident, finished second, earning a silver medal at the National Senior Olympics in Pittsburgh June 3 through 18.

A biannual event, the Senior Olympics attract more than 10,000 athletes, ranging in age from 50 to 91.

At the Olympic meet, Booth finished with a mark of 9-0 in the 60- to 64-year-old age group.

To qualify for the National Senior Olympics, Booth won the Michigan Senior Olympics last August in Lansing.

"After a 39 year hiatus, I thought I would dust off my pole vaulting skills and give the Michigan Senior Olympics a try," he said.

Currently, Booth uses a streamlined, fiberglass pole, a far cry from his old, handcrafted wooden contraptions.

"There's a tremendous difference," Booth said, comparing his old poles with the new, modern ones. "The bend of the pole really changes the dynamics. I need to learn to control it. It's a little tricky."

A professor of biology at EMU, Booth works out with the Eagles' men's and women's track and field teams.

In addition to being a former EMU pole-vaulter, Booth also competed in gymnastics while in college. A former team captain, he specialized in rings. He said his gymnastics training has given him an advantage as a pole-vaulter.

"Having that upper body strength helps," he said. "Plus, the ability to twist your body in the air helps. They're gymnastics moves. As a gymnast, you have a feeling for being in the air."

Booth said he is looking forward to defending his state championship at the Michigan Senior Olympics next month in Kalamazoo. He'll also participate in the long jump, 200 meters and in a bench press competition while there.

Booth said he plans to continue pole-vaulting as long as he's healthy.

"I'm looking to compete in the National Senior Olympics in Louisville in 2007," he said. "I'm having a good time."

And who wouldn't?

Especially after suffering through wooden poles, spiked feet and landings in sawdust.

Booth has come a long way, indeed.

User avatar
souleman
PV Lover
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2004 5:56 pm
Lifetime Best: 12-7.5
Favorite Vaulter: Bob Seagren, Bob Richards
Location: Wyoming, Minnesota
Contact:

Unread postby souleman » Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:16 pm

I just LOVE articles like this especially after being told I'm crazy for doing this. Later..................Mike

Vaulting prof
PV Fan
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:31 pm
Expertise: Masters Vaulter, Former Collegiate vaulter 1963-4, College coach
Location: Eastern Michigan University

Unread postby Vaulting prof » Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:18 pm

Thanks for digging this article out. You must have some impressive
search capabilities. The Chelsea Standard is not exactly a
real big newspaper.

vaulting prof
Use it or loose it

User avatar
rainbowgirl28
I'm in Charge
Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
Lifetime Best: 11'6"
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
Contact:

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Jul 21, 2005 3:05 am

http://www.chelseastandard.com/stories/ ... 1008.shtml

Booth captures six medals in two days


PUBLISHED: July 21, 2005

Two days, three competitions, six medals and two new records were the product of last weekend's track and field adventures for Dexter Township senior pole-vaulter Howard Booth.

The competition-packed weekend started at the Michigan Senior Olympics in Kalamazoo with the pole vault event. Despite rain delays, Booth, 61, cleared 9 feet, 3 inches, setting a state record in the men's 60- to 64-year-old age division and claiming the gold medal. In between vaulting, he moved over to the long jump, winning a silver medal with a leap of 13-7.

With the drizzle working its way up to a full rain, Booth sprinted to a bronze medal in the 200 meters with a time of 32.2.

On Day 2, Booth was off to the Grand Haven Beach Vault for a 9:30 a.m. start. The beach vault attracts more than 200 of the best vaulters from high school and college, through national elites, to seniors. With a vault of 9-6, Booth set a new Beach Vault record for his age group, earning a gold medal.

Later in the day, Booth traveled to Grand Valley State University for the USA Track and Field Regional Masters Championship that started at noon. The meet draws the best from six surrounding states and is a qualifying site for those going on to national and world meets.

With the heat index well over 100 degrees, Booth won his age bracket with a vault of 9-2 and tried for a personal best of 9-10 with no luck. Moving on to the long jump, he sailed 13-101/2 for a gold medal and a personal best.

After his whirlwind track-and-field weekend, Booth said he would seek out additional athletic challenges.

"With most of the masters track meets finished, I'll slow it down with some 5K road races and a mountain bike race in November," he said

User avatar
rainbowgirl28
I'm in Charge
Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
Lifetime Best: 11'6"
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
Contact:

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Sep 19, 2005 2:23 pm

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/aane ... xml&coll=2

Over the top With no fear of failing, biology prof vaults to help keep life interesting
Sunday, September 18, 2005
News Staff Reporter
Luanne Booth looked out the kitchen window and saw her husband, Howard, sitting by the garage, whittling at what looked like a small tree trunk.

The Booths, married for 39 years, have learned a certain amount of tolerance for each other's hobbies. When Howard decided he wanted to learn to windsurf in his late 50s, Luanne didn't flinch. When Luanne decided she wanted to retire from her job as a teacher and administrator at Greenhills School, and pursue an art degree, Howard didn't protest.

But lately he'd been talking about pole vaulting and, well, you're allowed a little extra concern when a 60-year-old suddenly starts toying with gravity, right?

"That was when I figured I'd better find out what he was up to,'' Luanne says with a laugh.

It wasn't long before Howard was up to 7 feet, vaulting over a strip of quarter-round trim with the wooden pole he'd made from a maple sapling. He assured his wife he knew what he was doing, having practiced this way at home when he first took up pole vaulting back in junior high. Never mind that he was coming off a 39-year hiatus. After a few weeks of practicing with the wooden pole and landing on a bunch of garbage bags filled with leaves, he ordered a new fiberglass pole and started training for the Michigan Senior Olympics.

That was a year ago, and Booth has now won back-to-back state Senior Olympic championships in his age group and broken his own pole vault state record. His vault at the 2004 Michigan Senior Olympics qualified him for 2005 National Senior Olympics. There he cleared 9 feet on a cold, windy, sporadically rainy day, finished second and became an All-American at 61.

"(My friends and family) all knew I was athletic, but to actually win some things has been a lot of fun,'' he says.

Booth, who's now 62, was a gymnast and pole vaulter at Eastern Michigan in the 1960s. For years, he had been running and lifting weights to stay fit. An old gymnastics buddy had prodded him toward the Senior Olympics based on his bench press numbers. Since he could enter three events for the same price as one, Booth added the 5k to his list, and then the pole vault caught his eye. He looked up the previous year's winners for his age group and thought he might be able to compete.

Then he found a nice, straight maple sapling in the woods behind his house and started whittling.

"I was a pretty serious 5k and 10k runner, but this is definitely a step up,'' he says. "There's a higher level of challenge and interest, and it's very exciting to have this much success. I worked a lot harder and had a lot less success as a distance runner.''

Booth still runs and lifts weights, but now he does it to improve his pole vault performance. Fitness is just a happy side effect. He even talks like a pole vaulter again, living for those euphoric moments when timing, speed and spring coincide and fling him into the sky. His best competitive vault in college was 12 feet, 6 inches. Since returning to the sport he's done 9 feet, 6 inches in competition, but says he's looking to go 10 or maybe even 11 feet.

"I'm waiting for that right meet when everything comes together,'' he says. "I can tell that I'm just now getting the hang of the spring in the fiberglass pole. I'll be working this fall and winter to make better use of it. ... If you do get it all right at the right time you can suddenly go 6 inches or a foot higher.''

Booth, a biology professor at EMU, works out with the student pole vaulters a couple times a week. The men and women who vault for EMU's track teams give him tips on technique and accept him as a fellow defier of gravity. They've helped him re-learn the sport from the ground up.

"I think that's just great fun,'' he says. "I've been learning new stuff all my life. Athletics is just one part of it, but to really have the students be the masters is fun. We all are constantly learning things but the roles aren't usually so dramatically reversed.''

Both Booths like a challenge. They restored a 150-year-old house in Ypsilanti, where Howard learned about plumbing and masonry. They moved to a log home on North Lake in Dexter Township and they learned how to repair a log wall. A few years ago Howard taught himself to use Power Point and made presentations of all of his lectures. Then he created Power Point presentations to complement two national textbooks. And Luanne left the world of school administration to explore the world of art.

The possibility of failure doesn't bother either of them as much as the prospect of not trying. Howard compares it to deciding to climb the mountain, even if it means a few hours of sweat and discomfort, and enjoying the beautiful view from the top rather than taking the little trail around the bottom, looking up and saying, "Gee, it looks beautiful up there.''

"Career-wise and fiscally we're comfortable, but we really get a kick out of the challenge of learning new things,'' Howard says. "Even though we don't need to do those things, it makes life a whole lot more interesting.''

Amy Whitesall can be reached at (734) 994-6842 or awhitesall@annarbornews.com.

User avatar
rainbowgirl28
I'm in Charge
Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
Lifetime Best: 11'6"
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
Contact:

Re: Howard Booth Article

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:05 pm

http://www.annarbor.com/sports/emu-prof ... o-his-60s/


Eastern Michigan professor Howard Booth, 67, one of state's best Senior Olympian pole vaulters
Topics: Sports, Ypsilanti
Comment Now Share this article Print Email
Share
Posted: Aug 14, 2010 at 3:14 PM [Today]
Howard Booth was curious. He cut down the sapling in his three-acre backyard and shaped it into a pole to “see if he still could get up there.”
After all, he’d only taken a 40-year hiatus from pole vaulting. It couldn’t be that hard, right?

Howard Booth, a 67-year-old biology professor at Eastern Michigan University, built a pole vault area in his backyard.

Andy Reid | AnnArbor.com
Turns out, he's one of the best Senior Olympians you'll find.
Booth’s pole vaulting test came six years ago. Now 67, the longtime biology professor in the Eastern Michigan University finished tied the second-best pole vault at the Michigan Senior Olympics Summer Games in late July, clearing 9 feet, 6 inches. The winning vault of 10-6 was done by a 50-year-old and is well within Booth’s normal range. He also competed in the long jump, finishing fifth.
Booth, an avid distance runner, was a pole vaulter and gymnast in college. He was ranked as high as No. 12 the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics on the still rings his senior year at Eastern Michigan.
When a friend told him about the Senior Olympics, his original plan was to run the 5K. Then he saw the pole vaulting results and eyed that sapling.
In his first Senior Olympics, Booth set a state record in the 60-to-69 age division by clearing 8 feet, 10 inches. That qualified him for the national meet. He’s been hooked ever since and wants to break the U.S. Senior Olympian mark of 11-3.
“It’s pretty rare for someone like me, who just picked up the sport,” Booth said. “Most of the guys around the country are lifers. … At first, I think they thought I might be a flash in the pan, that I’d get hurt or something and not come back. But I’ve earned their respect.”
Booth’s basement, which is set up as a shrine to his athletic accomplishments, has one wall with more than 40 medals on a shelving unit.
“Oh, those are just from last year,” he says nonchalantly. He points to a hook on the opposite, overflowing with more medals than he can count.
Summer is the busiest time for Booth, competition-wise. When he’s not on the road for competitions - which are all self-funded - he practices with the Eastern Michigan track and field team. When Booth decided to pursue the sport, the impromptu maple-sapling pole wasn’t going to do, so he asked the Eastern Michigan coach John Goodridge if he could use the team’s facilities in the morning, before the team came to practice.
Soon, Goodridge saw how intense Booth was about the sport.
"Howard is certainly an inspirational individual and athlete,” Goodridge said in an e-mail conversation. “As an engaging EMU professor and Masters pole vaulter he certainly embodies the Greek ideal of a sound body and mind connection.”
The coaches decided to invite him to their practices to learn from and teach him.
“I think (the EMU athletes) find it very novel and pretty surprising to see me out there vaulting,” Booth said. “I’ve been around for a while now, so oftentimes, the new people that come in have already heard of me. … But at first, they were amazed and kind of amused. But soon they saw that I’m as intense about the sport and getting better as they are.
“Of course, I have a limited range, and I’m not jumping as high as they are, but they can see how hard I work. And it’s great, we feed off each other. I’m always willing to help them, and they’re always giving me pointers, too. I consider all of them, players and coaches, great friends.”
Booth also built a practice facility in his backyard. It was built, surprisingly, on the side of a sloping hill, which obviously presented some problems. He got a few members of the team to help design and build it.
“Well, we thought, if you can build a bridge, you can certainly build a runway like this,” Booth said.
Painted green to match the pads he received from Eastern Michigan team after it was planning to throw them out - the runway is scenic and peaceful. Booth’s wife, Lu, can watch him from the house.
“When they first started building it, I said, ‘Oh this looks ridiculous,’ ” Lu said, laughing. “They were out there in their hard hats. But I’m proud of him. I know it’s his passion.”
About three or four days a week, local pole vaulters he’s met and become friends with at competitions come to practice with him. Some are high-school coaches who bring their athletes along, too.
Booth is now building a workout facility next to the pit, with still rings, a climbing rope, and a huge swing for his granddaughter.
Booth, now entering his seventh year of competition, won’t hang up the pole anytime soon.
“Oh, there’s some vaulters as old as 100,” he said. “I’ll be doing this for a long, long time.”

User avatar
Bubba PV
PV Lover
Posts: 1395
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:58 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, High School Coach, College Coach, Former Elite Vaulter, Masters Vaulter, FAN
Lifetime Best: 5.51
Favorite Vaulter: Bubka
Location: Monarch Beach (Dana Point), California
Contact:

Re: Howard Booth Article

Unread postby Bubba PV » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:24 pm

Becca never surprises me anymore. She's just remarkable. Bubba
Bubba Sparks - www.bubbapv.com

Support Becca & Pole Vault Power

User avatar
rainbowgirl28
I'm in Charge
Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
Lifetime Best: 11'6"
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
Contact:

Re: Howard Booth Article

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sat Aug 14, 2010 8:58 pm

Bubba PV wrote:Becca never surprises me anymore. She's just remarkable. Bubba


Wait, what? This thread is about Howard Booth! He's the remarkable one :)

User avatar
Bubba PV
PV Lover
Posts: 1395
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:58 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, High School Coach, College Coach, Former Elite Vaulter, Masters Vaulter, FAN
Lifetime Best: 5.51
Favorite Vaulter: Bubka
Location: Monarch Beach (Dana Point), California
Contact:

Re: Howard Booth Article

Unread postby Bubba PV » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:00 pm

We all know Howard is great, but Howard commented on your ability to search and locate. That said, WOW did Howard have a HUGE year!! Bubba
Bubba Sparks - www.bubbapv.com

Support Becca & Pole Vault Power

User avatar
master
PV Lover
Posts: 1336
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 2:03 am
Expertise: Masters Vaulter, Volunteer HS Coach, Former College Vaulter
Lifetime Best: 4.36m
Location: Oregon

Re: Howard Booth Article

Unread postby master » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:59 pm

Nice article Howard. Glad to read the younger vaulters (and coaches) appreciate your efforts! :P :yes:
- master . . . http://www.plvlt.com

User avatar
vaultmd
PV Enthusiast
Posts: 1696
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 6:18 pm
Expertise: Masters Vaulter, Coach, Doctor
Lifetime Best: 475
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Laura Huarte
Location: Roseville, CA
Contact:

Re: Howard Booth Articles

Unread postby vaultmd » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:00 am

Howard,
I'm sorry I neglected to introduce myself in Sacramento. I was the Chinese dude on the officiating crew.
Wilson

User avatar
Bubba PV
PV Lover
Posts: 1395
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 2:58 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, High School Coach, College Coach, Former Elite Vaulter, Masters Vaulter, FAN
Lifetime Best: 5.51
Favorite Vaulter: Bubka
Location: Monarch Beach (Dana Point), California
Contact:

Re: Howard Booth Articles

Unread postby Bubba PV » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:20 am

Us "younger vaulters" also appreciate you and Howard also John! Bubba :D
Bubba Sparks - www.bubbapv.com

Support Becca & Pole Vault Power


Return to “Pole Vault - Masters”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests