Friday, February 26, 2010

One day to Nationals!

Well tomorrow is the national meet, we jump at 5:45 mountain time.  We went to the track yesterday and I was able to get on the runway, man its gonna be fast, it reminds me a lot of the runway at Milrose and I had really good results there.  Milrose was the first time I started taking off at 14ft consistently and doing so has really allowed me to jump to the best of my abilities.  Practice the last couple of weeks has been a huge boost to my confidence, Ive been able to jump on some big poles from my short run so hopefully that will transfer to my long run tomorrow.  Also Ive been wanting to get on my 5.10m poles and tomorrow may give me the perfect opportunity to do that.

Alright guys wish me luck, there should be updates on under U.S. Elite.  I will let you guys know exactly how the meet went and hopefully have some videos up either tomorrow night or sunday some time. 

Always Pursuing

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One week from nationals!

I cant tell you guys how pumped I am for nationals!  One week from today I leave with my coach Danny and training partner Mary for Albuquerque, New Mexico for the USA Indoor National meet.  This is how nationals for track and field works: every year we have an indoor and an outdoor national meet, everyone who has made the qualifying height(this year its 5.50m or 18') gets to compete at the national meet.   Also every non-Olympic year like this year we have a world championships which is a lot like the Olympics but only for track and field, this year we have indoor world championships so everyone competing at USA nationals next week is fighting for the top 2 spots to make the USA world championship team. 
Practice this week has been going really well, weve just been kind of taking it easy to stay off the calf.  Monday we had off, Tuesday we did a tempo workout on the bike which was 3 sets of 20 sec easy and 10 secs hard 8 times, not too bad just to get in a little cardio work.  Wednesday we did speed work, which was sprinting about 30 meters about 5 times, then we did overspeed where Danny pulls us using a long bungy cord so we can know the feeling of running faster and try to duplicate that on our own.  Today we had gymnastics and a general strength workout which involves running about 20 meters, doing one of about 6 exercises, running back and doing another exercise.  Tomorrow we vault to just lock in some things and make sure were ready to go for next week.  Ill let you know how it goes, and maybe some vids.
Always Pursuing

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gvsu videos 2/12/10

Videos from Grand Valley on Friday are now uploaded, check em out!
Always Pursuing

Sunday, February 14, 2010

GVSU and Main South Sky Jumpers Camp

Its been a great couple of days, We (Mary Saxer, my coach Danny Wilkerson and myself) went up to Grand Rapids, Michigan to GVSU on Friday for a meet.  The funny thing is that of all the times Ive jumped at Grand Valley I have never jumped over 17'9" (5.40m), Ive jumped there probably ten times in the last year and for whatever reason i have never jumped over 17'9".  So Friday I decided it was all or nothing, I entered the meet at 18' (5.50m) and skyed it!  After that I put the bar to 18'4" (5.60m) and made it easily on my second attempt.  I had one good jump at 18'8" but came down on the bar.

I was really happy with the way i jumped I feel like Im finally jumping the way i should be and am ready to jump something big at Nationals coming up in 2 weeks in Albuquerque NM.  Im finally holding the top of my 16'5" poles and so im finally hitting the bend like i should and am really able to lock into the pole and get on top of it really well.  Darren Niedermeyer also jumped on Friday and made 5.50m and had good looks at 5.60m he was really happy just to get his qualifying mark out of the way for nationals.

Then Amanda and I traveled to Chicago to Jan Johnson's Sky Jumpers camp and had a good time seeing a lot of coaching friends that I havent seen in a while.  Later that night Darren and I jumped again this time from a shorter run.  Darren jumped 17' from 6 lefts in tennis shoes and i was able to jump 17'6" from 5 lefts and had a couple good jumps at 18'.  It was a lot of fun and I feel like im rolling right now at exactly the right time with USA Nationals only a few weeks away.  I feel like i have a great chance of placing top 2 and making my first World Championships team!

Always Pursuing
P.S. Videos to come
P.S.S. Also now you can easily help me out in a tangible way by clicking on the Donate button on the left,
thanks so much for all your help.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Article in the Elkhart Truth!

The Elkhart Truth newspaper today ran an article on me!  Check it out in the paper or online at: ETruth Article.
Since I am not originally from the area this article is a really good way for people from Michiana to learn more about me and what I'm trying to do.  So if your visiting my blog for the first time, Im glad your here, take a look around read my profile and watch some videos of me.  Thanks I appreciate all your support as I pursue 2012 Olympics and ultimately the world record!

Always Pursuing

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Well Im sitting in the airport in Boston waiting to get on my flight back to Chicago.  Theres not a whole lot worse than traveling across the country and ending up with a NH (no height), its REALLY frustrating.  Its definitely not the worst Ive felt after a meet, I dont really have a great explanation for what went wrong.  I was feeling pretty good, my calf wasnt hurting too bad, it wasnt like I had a really long flight over or anything, I just couldnt put it together.  There was a bit of a disconnect between my mid and takeoff and I didnt really line them up until my second attempt at 5.40m.  During warmups i wasnt really able to get on the poles i wanted to, and instead of staying on my smallest pole which i knew i could make 5.40 on i tried to get on the bigger poles and never was able to really finish any jumps in warmups which led to me not being sure what pole to be on in the comp.

Oh well what are you gonna do right?  Its over now so the only thing i can do is try to learn from it and try not to let it happen again.  I guess next time I will make sure my run is more consistent, I will start a little lower if i have to try to get into my groove, I will stay on the smaller pole until I finish a jump and blow through. 

I do have some good new though, I found out on thursday that I will be recieving the USATF Foundation Grant!  This money will help immensely with training costs, medical visits, travel costs, coaching, and a ton of other things that will help me in pursuit of my dream.  This makes things a lot easier but does not necessarily grant me success.  I know that I am still a long way from being the best i can be and there are a lot of steps to climb to get there.  One thing this does immediately is lessen the stress of being an emerging athlete, every pole vaulter i feel has to go through a period of trial and desperation, not knowing where the money to pay your bills will come from, working the oddest jobs on the planet, and begging friends and family for help.  I really think this is one thing that makes us unique, im sure that other athletes go through some of  the same things but us vaulters just love this sport too damn much to quit, were stubborn that way, if  you've ever pole vaulted you know there is no feeling like that of setting a new PB (personal best). 

I am planning on jumping at Grand Valley State University next Friday hopefully try out some of my 5.10 poles.  Then i will be traveling to Chicago for Jan Johnson's Sky Jumpers camp at Main South High School, if your in the area come say hi, its near Ohare.  Im hoping to jump at the camp from a short run with a few other elite vaulters, Darren Niedermeyer, and possibly Jacob Pauli it should be a good time and hopefully we can put on a bit of a show for the campers.  Alright im signing off, feels good to just jot some feelings down about this weekend, i feel as though i can put this behind me now and move forward.  Ill let you know how things go this week.

Always Pursuing

Friday, February 5, 2010


I was wrong I guess the Reebok indoor games will be on tv sunday from 2-4pm eastern time on espn2
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