Mike Yassay article (MI)

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Mike Yassay article (MI)

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:18 pm

http://hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/a ... 056/NEWS12

Look, mom, 14 feet! Mike Yassay breaks school pole vault record

By Sam Eggleston

Northville junior Mike Yassay felt his body brush against the bar set 14 feet in the air.

He let go of the pole and flung himself over, plummeting back to the ground and landing on the mat below. Yassay spun, his eyes locked on the wiggling bar.


"I was freaking out," Yassay said. "All I could think was 'No!' Then I heard everyone cheering and I realized it stayed."

A year after promising to break Northville's high school pole vaulting record, Yassay finally cleared the 14-foot mark.

His new record erased Ron Gloetzner's leap of 13-feet-9-inches set in 1968. Gloetzner now lives in New Mexico.

"Mike is the best pole vaulter we have had at Northville for the six years I have taught here," coach Bill Cornelius said. "Mike has excellent upper body strength and vaulting form. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in strength and desire."


Yassay never let his goals get out of sight. Despite falling short of his mark last year, Yassay kept working, lifting weights, working on speed and participating in off-season competition.

The hard work that paid off. In the first meet of the high school season Yassay cleared 12-feet-11-inches and was just shy of an attempt at 14-feet.

He focused himself for the Novi Relays last Saturday and made a run at the mark again. This time, he cleared it.

"Mike is harder on himself than I could be on him," said his father and pole vaulting coach, Mark. "He is a joy to coach because he is mentally tough, strong-willed, smart, tall, fast and strong. One heck of a combination."

As Yassay cleared the bar, his friends and family cheered.

He sat up on the mat only to be crushed again by the force of his friends, Alex Manor and Cavan Corcoran.

"They tackled me," Yassay said. "The second I sat up Alex bolted to the pit and Cavan was there, too.

"When I got off the pit, coach Cornelius was the first person there and he gave me a hug."

Next on the list

Yassay said there's always room for improvement and he already has some thoughts about how high he'd like to go.

But he's not handing out specific numbers. Especially after last year.

One height that stands out on the list for Yassay is just an inch higher than he's already gone. That's the record his dad set in 1974 as a student-athlete at the former Garden City West
High School.

"I just have to work hard, try to do my best and see how high I can go," Yassay said. "Right now, I'm going after my dad's record. Then, I'll try to keep going higher and higher."

And the goals just keep climbing, too. Yassay said he'd like to make a return trek to the state finals this year and maybe get a little attention from colleges like his older brother, Mark, who is a starting defensive lineman at Hillsdale College.

"Mike is one of the most dedicated, self-motivated and hardest-working athletes I have ever coached," Cornelius said. "He sets a good example for the rest of the team by working out in the weight room throughout the winter and after track practice during the season.

"He runs the team pole vault practices and also helps the vaulters on the girl's team. He's an excellent leader."

Yassay said he's ready for more hard work.

He said the key to reaching any of his goals is to never be satisfied with his last vault.

"I was tickled pink Saturday," he said. "Now, I have to keep pushing the envelope. There are a lot of things I can improve on to get higher and I'm going to keep pushing myself."

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Unread postby skyshark177 » Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:38 am

Way to go Mike!
Can't wait to see you at Observerland Relays.

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