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Dinnan hoping to vault to state championship
Ryan Cole, Midland Daily News 04/22/2006
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"You just kind of run up, stop, and then there's this release and you just go up. I can't really explain it."
Midland High's Luke Dinnan may have a hard time describing the pole vault, but he sure doesn't have any trouble executing it.
Dinnan is one of the top pole vaulters in the state, and after a runner-up finish at the Division 1 state finals last season, he's looking for a state championship to end his senior year.
"I started when I was a freshman because I wanted to be on varsity and I wasn't a fast enough sprinter. So I started vaulting," said Dinnan, who won the pole vault at 14 feet even in Friday's Page/Malzahn Invitational at Dow High.
Dinnan's older brother Tim vaulted as high as 13 feet, 3 inches for the Chemics, and that served as motivation for the younger brother.
"I wanted to pole vault because my brother did," Dinnan recalled. "Then I just wanted to be better than he was."
Dinnan experienced success early. His freshman season, he went 12 feet, 6 inches. His current best is 14-6.
"I want to get up to 16 feet, but 15-6 is realistic. My coach won't let me use the 16-foot pole until I get over 15-6," Dinnan said.
Judging from the crowd that follows him around and cheers him on, his accomplishments have attracted attention.
"Luke does a great job with teaching and leadership," Midland coach Marty Hollenbeck noted. "He never misses a practice."
The Chemics have had a strong tradition in the pole vault, largely due to vaulting coach Butch Wenzel. But being the star in a reputable program also brings high expectations.
"We expect a 1-2 finish out of those guys wherever we go," Hollenbeck said of Dinnan and teammate Brandon Secor.
Dinnan would like to compete in college and is considering Eastern Michigan and Saginaw Valley State.
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