Gary Hunter - 15' 8" at Quintana Beach Vault, Texas

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Gary Hunter - 15' 8" at Quintana Beach Vault, Texas

Unread postby Bubba PV » Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:40 pm

It was a beautiful day with a fast runway and nice tailwind. I don't know that it will count as a WR but he sure made it nicely in front of a crowd of about 150.

Thanks to Bob Crites and Marc Herns for putting on the event. Special guests in the crowd were 2008 Olympian, Erica Bartolina and her hubby/coach, Mike, and the great Alan Launder from Australia.

Bubba

PS - Don Islet attempted a new M70 WR at 3.27m and I attempted a M55 AR at 4.14m. We both came up just a little short. Gary was certainly the highlight!
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Re: Gary Hunter - 15' 8" at Quintana Beach Vault, Texas

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:56 pm

I know that US outdoor records cannot be ratified on wooden runways, I would assume that world records have a similar condition.

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Re: Gary Hunter - 15' 8" at Quintana Beach Vault, Texas

Unread postby Bubba PV » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:29 am

I agree and we knew that in advance. He and meet organizer, Bob Crites, went to Indiana together and Bob is getting married while we're at Oshkosh. It was just a good chance to get together and hang out at the beach.

BTW – Stacy Dragila got her first 15’ at the Santa Barbara Beach Vault, and though it didn’t count, she got $100K. More importantly she made it at Worlds to win. KNOWING you can jump a height is just as important as it counting as a record. I think Gary’s probably thinking 16’ for Oshkosh. Hope he gets it.

Final BTW – Bubka’s outdoor WR was on a board runway with rubber. Another “rule change” AB (After Bubka) like the shorter pegs?

Here's an article on the Quintana Beach Vault that just came out;
http://www.thefacts.com/story.lasso?ewc ... 047212b350


Quintana Beach Vault brings friends together
By Billy Loveless
Special to The Facts
Published June 21, 2009
QUINTANA BEACH — Intentionally or not, the popular “Field of Dreams” philosophy that says “If you build it, they will come,” has become a way of life for Bob Crites and his friends.

When Crites, who currently resides in Jones Creek, built a pole vaulting pit in his backyard years ago, a slew of jumpers from around the area converged on his land to use his facility.

Now he’s taken it one step further.

Crites, along with friends and vaulting enthusiasts Marc Herns and Brian Simpson, came up with the idea of holding a pole vaulting competition at Quintana Beach last year. Once again, participants came from far and wide to compete and take advantage of the day of fun in the sun.

On Saturday afternoon, the Quintana Beach Vault had its second competition in as many years, and it looks as if it’s going to become an annual event.

“We’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” Crites said. “We get more and more people that come from different places. A lot of it is word-of-mouth. It’s like coming to someone’s facility at their house. You can draw a lot of people if you throw it out there.”

Saturday’s event drew close to 100 athletes from across the country, with ages ranging from junior high kids to senior citizens. In attendance were age-group national champions, such as Dallas-area resident Don Islet, who recently cleared the American record for 70-year-old vaulters, and 52-year-old master’s record holder Gary Hunter, who hails from Indiana.

Also making the trek to the beach was a slew of high school jumpers from across the state. One young vaulter who didn’t have to travel far was 16-year-old Texas home-school state champion Brianna Simpson of Lake Jackson.

For Brianna, it was hard to beat having this type of competition in her home county. And that’s not even mentioning the added attraction of having it on the beach.

“This is really cool,” she said. “This is a great way to hang out with other pole vaulters. It’s nice to come out and learn things from everyone else. Everybody shares tips and techniques. Everybody helps each other out.”

Event co-organizer Herns enjoys the camaraderie between athletes.

“In a lot of sports you’ll see people that have grudges and hatred, but here it’s really not about each other,” said Herns, a Lake Jackson resident and 1980 Olympic qualifier. “Rather, it’s about how high you go. Of course, we sometimes wish other people wouldn’t go as high as we do, but we still support each other. It’s all about helping each other out.”

The camaraderie within the sport is so strong that some competitors came to Saturday’s event just to support their friends. Louisiana resident and 2008 United States Olympic pole vaulter Erica Bartolina was one of those spectators.

Although an injury ended Bartolina’s season prematurely, she wasn’t about to miss an opportunity to visit her old friends.

“I’m just here to hang out and encourage people,” Bartolina said. “The pole vault is such a unique event and there’s nothing else quite like it. Vaulters stick together because we’re the only ones that really understand what we do.

“These events are a lot of fun,” she added. “It’s a competition, but no one is too competitive. Everyone is just out here having fun competing against the bar.”

Another reason Bartolina enjoys meets such as the Quintana Beach Vault is the interaction with the spectators.

“At a track meet, the pole vault might be in the middle of the field so people in the stands aren’t very close to it,” she said. “This puts the focus entirely on the pole vault. And then you have the draw of the beach and the relaxed atmosphere.”

The beachfront location turned out to be a major bonus for many of the competitors.

Houston’s Dinah Anderson, a 57-year-old ex-body builder who took up the sport only three years ago, said the sun and sand were among her favorite aspects of the event.

“It’s so beautiful out here on the beach,” Anderson said. “And people are so nice here. I was here last year and I was taken aback with how pleasant it is. I couldn’t wait to come back.”

One attendee who knows plenty about the beach atmosphere was former Olympic vaulting coach Alan Launder, who was on hand to offer pointers and to promote his new book on vaulting techniques. Launder came to the Quintana Beach Vault by way of Australia, a continent well known for its sand and surf.

“This is what sport is really about,” Launders said. “When many people in this country think of sports, they think of the NFL, NBA, baseball and people getting paid 10 million bucks a year. But this is a real sport. These are people doing it for their own reasons. There’s nobody pushing them and there’s no money involved. In fact, it usually costs them to participate in something like this.

“What they do get, however, are lifelong friendships,” he said. “This is genuine. It’s a really, really genuine sport. And that’s what I love about it.”

That was the general attitude of most of the vaulters at Saturday’s event. While earning bragging rights was a goal, the biggest benefit was being with good friends and facing off against a bar that was expected to reach as high as 17 feet in the air.

“It gives you such a rush when the pole bends and it flips you up,” the 70-year-old Islet said after winning his age group. “It’s such a great feeling to clear the bar. And in an event like this, there are so many people of all different ages. It’s just a special, special group of people that all enjoy the same thing.

“It’s a community in itself.”
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Re: Gary Hunter - 15' 8" at Quintana Beach Vault, Texas

Unread postby Bubba PV » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:28 pm

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