Men's Pole Vault - Walker, Grande, Miles make team, Roth 3rd

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:40 pm

My wrap-up and thoughts on yesterday's competition:

Yesterday was fairly miserable most of the day. Many were speculating that the men's prelims would be cancelled and they would go to a straight final like the women did.

But in the hours leading up to the pole vault, it wasn't _that_ bad. Raining off and on but never that hard. I think when the guys were first on the field and warmups were getting underway 90 minutes before the event, the sun even came out briefly.

That changed as warmups were winding down. It started raining harder. By the end of warmups, almost every jump was a run-through or a bail. One athlete told me how he worked hard to keep his pole dry, but he carries with an open top hand, and in the time it took him to get down the runway, that top grip was completely wet.

Should they have delayed the competition at that point?

The competition began. For the first round of jumps, it was raining, but not pouring. The wind was really not a factor for any of this, thank goodness, it was fairly still most of the time.

No one was making the bar. In the first round of jumps, there were 18 misses and one clearance at a rather pedestrian height of 5.30.

Around the time people started making their second attempts, the rain got worse. Really raining hard. Several athletes mentioned that they had trouble with water getting in their eyes as they ran down the runway.

Should they have delayed the competition at that point? The athletes were begging the officials for a delay, telling them how unsafe it was!

During second attempts we had 15 misses and 3 makes. During third attempts we had 11 misses and 3 makes. There were 19 vaulters with PRs of 5.51 or better, and only 7 could clear 5.30.

When the bar went to 5.40, the athletes who had cleared 5.30 wanted to know how many were still in, so they could figure out if they needed to jump or not. Once you pass, you can't take that back and jump at the height. It's hard for the athletes to keep track of what is happening on two pits, they need to focus on their own jumping.

The officials were initially unable to give them a definitive answer. Five athletes took attempts at 5.40 who didn't need to.

Fortunately for the athletes who passed 5.30, the weather improved a bit at 5.40, and 4/5 were able to make a bar.

The goal of prelims is to get a field of 12 athletes for finals. We only got 11 athletes over a bar. Worst. Competition. Ever.


I think they made the right decision to warmup and have the competition based on the weather at the time. It would not have been a bad idea to maybe delay the start for a bit, but it seemed kind of borderline (though I was in the covered stands so not fully able to judge the effect on the athletes). There was a loud clap of thunder around the time of the start of the competition, many thought it would surely be called off.

But once it started raining harder, they DEFINITELY should have delayed it. It doesn't usually rain that hard here. If you delay by 15-30 minutes, you will almost certainly see an improvement.

The conditions were unsafe. We are LUCKY that 5 out of the 6 A standard athletes advanced without injury. We're lucky none of the vaulters got hurt.

Why is it OK for the guys to vault in conditions that were considerably worse than what the women were facing when theirs was called off? Why did the women get to vote on the course of action and not the men?

Everyone left this competition with a bad taste in their mouth. No one wins here. Men's pole vault has been on the decline in the US, but this makes the problem look considerably worse than it actually is. When events get worse, they get less funding.

I know that our athletes need to be able to vault in the rain. I don't think they should have cancelled yesterday. But for the safety of the athletes, they should have delayed competition when the conditions became so unsafe.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby Bubba PV » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:40 pm

Great insights Becca. Reality!! - It rains A LOT in London!!
Walker
Miles
Hollis
Whitt (Goes if Mark doesn't hit the A standard.
Bubba Sparks - www.bubbapv.com

Support Becca & Pole Vault Power

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:44 pm

From Garry Hill (the PA announcer and editor of T&F News):

Becca: at one point in your excellent post (which we put on the front page), you noted the useless vaults at 5.40. I must have said (pointedly I thought) over the PA a half dozen times "11 still alive at 5.40," which should have been a monster clue to all involved that if you already had a make you could quit. I'm shocked that a combination of national-caliber officials and all the PV honks who sit nearby in the East Grandstand didn't recognize that instantly and start y elling at the jumpers.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:00 am

The original planned height progression for finals (and I have no reason to think they'll change it) is: 540, 550, 560, 567, 572, 577, +5

Here's my guess at what will happen...

(Keeping in mind that only Walker, Miles, Jeremy Scott, Jordan Scott and Whitt have A standard)

If you're Brad Walker, you just do what it takes to make sure you clear a bar, your opening height will probably get you on the team. Brad looked good in prelims, I'm not worried that he'll have trouble here.

If you're Derek Miles or Jeremy Scott (A standard guys with injuries), you go for the minimum number of jumps you think it will take to beat two other A standard guys. I would guess they would open around 5.50 or so and then see what is happening after that.

If you're Jack Whitt or Jordan Scott (healthy A standard guys) you're opening at 5.40 and jumping every bar and hoping to beat two A standard guys.

If you're Mark Hollis or Scott Roth (doesn't have A standard but has a realistic shot at getting it), you skip some heights and get to 5.72 quickly.

If you're everyone else you either focus on getting a PR or you focus on making the team. If it's the latter, you might as well open at 5.40 and skip straight to 5.72 because nothing matters except making 5.72.



Other interesting notes... if three of the five A standard guys NH, and no one else jumps A standard, the NHing guys would have to have a jump-off to determine who will make the team.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:09 am

http://www.argusleader.com/article/2012 ... Sports%7Cs

Q&A with pole vaulter Derek Miles
11:26 PM, Jun 26, 2012 | Comments

Written by
Mick Garry

It was a hobbled Derek Miles who got through the qualifying round of the men’s pole vault at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., on Monday, but a happy one, too.

The 39-year-old assistant University of South Dakota track coach, trying to make his third consecutive Olympic team, will compete in the finals Thursday afternoon with hopes that a sore Achilles will, somewhat miraculously, quiet down enough to permit him to seriously compete for a trip to London.

Q. Judging from the lower qualifying heights (Miles jumped 17 feet, 4.5 inches), the conditions must have been tough Monday. How did that figure in the competition?

A. It got pretty tricky out there. They called off the women’s preliminary competition for conditions that were actually better than they were for ours. It was raining pretty hard and the vaulters were complaining. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to be doing at that point. Then we got a headwind in the rain and it looked like the whole field might no-height. I didn’t think it was going to take a big height to get into the finals. I thought about passing at 17-4, but after watching how the field was dealing with the conditions, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry.

Q. How does the Achilles feel now?

A. My body feels fine, now. I haven’t done much today, but I’ll continue to get treatment and see what it feels like. A few weeks ago I jumped a few times and felt pretty good the next day, but four or five days later when I tried it again, it was obvious that I’d done too much. That’s why I’m a little worried right now. I’m not sure how much of a beating it took on Monday.

Q. What type of treatments are you receiving?

A. I have one guy working with soft tissue stuff, I’m getting laser treatments, total body cleansing – everything but the kitchen sink. My thoughts are that if I try everything, there’s a better chance that one of the things will work.

Q. How would you assess the field at this point?

A. I never really focus too much on who I have to beat because in this game you don’t know what is going to happen. For sure, though, Brad Walker is the guy who has the best chance of medaling in London, so I personally hope he’s one of the guys on the team. Jeremy Scott has also proved himself over the last three years. My hope personally is that I’ll be able to run down the runway well enough to get on a decent pole and compete. That’s what it’s always been for me – I just want to make sure I can compete.”

Q. You started the Trials as a coach for Emily Grove and Bethany Buell (who finished 15th) – how well did it go for them in their first Olympic Trials?

A.The goal for the both of them was to get a feel for what it’s like so that they can come back here in four years and focus on other things. It’s tough when you have to start out at a height that high like they did. Usually they can start at a lower height and move through a few gears first.

I thought Emily was as sound technically as she’s been all year and Bethany came close to matching her PR. I’d say they both did well, but if you’re a pole vaulter, you’re always going to think you should have made the next height.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby hardflex » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:27 am

Thanks for the synopsis, Becca. It's truly disappointing when we look forward to these events with such great anticipation then get hit with a clunker like this. I too am glad no one got hurt. When less than half the field make a height I hope the officials rethink their procedures in order to better adapt in the future.

It's got me rethinking the 'one shot only' nature of the team trials. Perhaps a multi meet selection process with a point system will help spark interest in Track and Field over the current process.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby ADTF Academy » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:57 am

rainbowgirl28 wrote:From Garry Hill (the PA announcer and editor of T&F News):

Becca: at one point in your excellent post (which we put on the front page), you noted the useless vaults at 5.40. I must have said (pointedly I thought) over the PA a half dozen times "11 still alive at 5.40," which should have been a monster clue to all involved that if you already had a make you could quit. I'm shocked that a combination of national-caliber officials and all the PV honks who sit nearby in the East Grandstand didn't recognize that instantly and start y elling at the jumpers.


I was catching step for Darren so was near the front row when all this happened. Most to all the coaches knew what was going on. 7 made and 5 passed so on paper it was 12 left why jump if you made 5.30. I had even mentioned the scenario to Darren his comment was, "I'm here why not jump." Another athlete made a comment that Colwick had protested or was waiting for a ruling on something along those lines. I am not 100% sure what it was. Therefore if he had been given another jump there would have been 13 left in the field. If you didn't jump at 5.40 and cowlick made it you could be knocked out of the competition. The rain must of messed with everyones brains. There was a huddle of the minds in-between the two pits for a while. Blocking the views of the athletes and coaches. It was just a mess out there.

At one point they almost got hit by a javelin and Roth had a pole of a competitor almost hit his pole as he ran down the runway, he was given another attempt. The big one was the placement of the time out clock, of the pit near the infield, seemed to be positioned in a spot where the athletes could barely see the clock due to the tents and other competitors. This is where the Colwick issue came, I think, as he timed out and than right after him the Arnold timed out too. Woepse almost got timed out as well before he got emotional and started yelling, with the help of Pauli it appeared he was given another jump. The veteran stepping in to help the young guys. With how well the woman's was run, except for the fact they put us into mostly a head wind, it was sad to see the Men's prelim go the way it did. This was all from an observation of a coach watching as a fan helping a friend with steps. I guess the rain not only messed with the athletes it messed with the officials.

Hope that helps with some of the confusion as to why a few jumped at 5.40 for no reason. Good luck to everyone in the finals.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby botakatobi » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:59 am

London, England 1948 Olympics.

Steady to heavy rain during the pole vault finals. 14 wide by 12 foot long pit with 1 foot of hard, wet sand to land in.

Guinn Smith from the US wins the gold medal.

In championship meets you have to tough it out despite the conditions.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby Bloom » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:49 pm

sounds awful.

I assume we will see a whole lot of jumps at 5.72 and not much else except for a couple A standard guys getting insurance heights. From what Becca said there is no reason for many competitors to jump at anything else.

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:43 pm

Height progression not posted officially yet, but here is the jumping order:


Flight 1
Pos Name Affiliation
1 Jeremy Scott Nike
2 Rory Quiller Unattached
3 Jack Whitt Oral Roberts
4 Scott Roth Unattached
5 Mark Hollis Nike
6 Michael Woepse U C L A
7 Derek Miles Nike
8 Brad Walker Nike
9 Jordan Scott Unattached
10 Darren Niedermeyer Jump High Athletic Club
11 Dustin DeLeo Unattached

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:04 pm

One hour to go! Remember to check my Twitter :)

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Re: Men's Pole Vault - Only 11 clear a bar

Unread postby vaultmd » Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:25 pm

You gonna post slower this time, Birthday Girl?


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