Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hingelo Rain Rain Rain

It started off as a decent day today, got a great 12hrs of sleep last night and felt much better this morning than i did yesterday.  Headed to the track around 2 and half way there it started to rain, it continued to rain the entire day other than about 1 hour in which we tried to hold a pole vault competition.  After going back and forth about trying to start the comp we started warming up in a gym at around 330, the meet directors were going to make a decision at about 420.  It was still raining when we went back out to the track, they wanted us to attempt to warm up and we would make a decision on starting at 5.  Warmups were not going that well for anyone, noone was able to keep their grip or hands dry until about 440 the rain stopped.  We were able to get in a decent warmup and started the competition.  I came in at opening height, 5.20m(17ft), just to make sure i made a height if the rain came back.  Made that easily on my first attempt, i was kinda stuck between poles and so i decided to jump at 5.30m(17'6") and try to get into a groove so i could move up a pole at the next height.  Made 5.30 pretty easily on my first attempt and was feeling pretty good, the sun was now out and we had a nice tailwind.  The bar went up to 5.40m(17'9"), i went up a pole to my 5m 13.8flex took off a little bit under and just grazed the bar on the way down.  Moved back a little for my second attempt and blew the bar away! I was feeling good, my run was good, take off getting where it needed to be, so i moved up a pole to my 13.3flex going to 5.50m(18') By this time there were only 2 guys out of 10 out of the competition.  My first attempt i took off a bit under again and kind of got stood up by the pole, no chance.  2nd attempt i was feeling confident, came down the runway and just didnt hit the pole quite right, finished my jump and just came down on the bar, as you can see in the picture.   Third attempt, the rain started when i was at the back of the runway, but i was sure i had it, moved my step back ab out 6in, came down the runway the best i had all day, hit the takeoff, everything was perfect accept the bar was just too close, hit it off on the way up and my day was over.  But the rain started coming down harder and harder and noone else jumped, they ended up canceling the meet.  Not too angry about what happened except it sucks to fly 10hrs to jump in the rain, and wouldnt you know it its supposed to rain for our next 2 meets as well.  Jeremy and I fly to Vienna tomorrow, we jump Tuesday. 
The meet will be broadcast live online HERE, we jump at 6pm local time so noon eastern time. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Saturday, May 29, 2010


 I made it to Hingelo, Netherlands at 10:00am local time or 4am eastern time.  I flew from Indy to Detroit, the poles made it on both the planes and arrived with me in one piece.  The meet directors were at the airport waiting for me when i arrived and after about a 2 hour drive I made it to the hotel.  Once again i got very little sleep on the plane, but to be able to adjust to the time change i cant go to sleep until tonight.  I am feeling much better now after getting some lunch in me, Im going to head to the track in a bit to do a shake out which should also help. 

Practice this week has gone really well,  Monday i jumped outside at Notre Dame and was able to jump on a 5m 200 from 7 lefts which i usually dont do.  Weve been working on getting around the pole instead of sitting on it, Monday i was getting it pretty good.  Wednesday I had to go to Naperville, Illinois to meet Darren to pick up my poles.  Since i was there we decided to practice together.   I ended up jumping near 18'5" from 7 lefts, we then put the bungee up at 6.10m or about 20ft and were trying to kick it from 5 lefts, on about my 6th one i ended up getting my foot around it.

I actually ust got back from the track and it looks pretty nice, the field seems pretty stacked so hopefully that will push me to put up a big mark.  I jump tomorrow at 4:30pm and will have updates posted soon after. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Belem 5.55m

It turned out to be a pretty good day!  I ended up jumping 5.55m and had a couple of pretty good trys at 5.70m but just couldnt keep the bar up there.

The track was gigantic, it definately wasnt filled up but there were a lot of people there.  The conditions were perfect, a light breeze that helped to keep us cool, the runway was fast.  The only thing that wasnt great was the pit, it was tiny, no front buns, and it was only as wide as the standards. 

Warmups went really well, my run was feeling great and just as i wanted to i started on the 5m 205, and was able to lock in my run.  So i decided to come in at 5.40m, i cooled it first try, and by the end of the height i was the only one left!  The plan was to go 5.55m and then 5.70 and then 5.80m i made 5.55m pretty easy on my first attempt.  Went up to 5.70m and had a couple of good attempts at it on the 5m 12.8 flex. 

Well i gotta get to bed, weve got a long day tomorrow, we leave the hotel at 1030am and get into chicago at 830am on friday. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Forteleza 5.40m

It was a hot day at the meet today, around 100 degrees and even though we started at 8:10am it was still just as hot as it was in the afternoon.  The winds were nice when we first got there but as the sun got higher in the sky the winds really took off.  It would be a nice tailwind in the back and once i got around my mid it would be a gusting crosswind, i think i let that affect me too much in my pole selection so when i should have been on the bigger pole i decided to stay on the smaller one.  I came in at 5.20 and made it easy, went up to 5.40 and made that easy on my first attempt, then we went to 5.50 and i had a really good jump on my first attempt but somehow knicked the bar with my elbow on the way over and it fell.  My next two jumps werent as good as the first and the wind was kicking up a little more.
I cant complain too much about the conditions tho because Darren jumped really well, ended up clearing 5.60 by a mile and Jason Wurster ended up jumping 5.50 pretty easily as well.  I have decided that on Wednesday at the next meet im not even going to touch my smallest pole, im just going to start on the 2nd pole in warmups and make it work. 

All in all its been a great few days here, i was definitely dissapointed about today, i ended up 4th in the meet, but the weather has been great, and the food is good.  We leave for Belem tomorrow, so hopefully i will have internet at the hotel when i get there and can give some more updates.  

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Friday, May 14, 2010

Forteleza Brazil!!

After nearly 24 hours of straight travel, and only about 2 hours of sleep I made it to Forteleza where my first meet in South America will be held on Sunday.  The trip went pretty well, we didnt have any problems getting the poles on the planes and the flights (all 3 of them) were smooth.  The only problem was that I just could not fall asleep on the plane.  Our longest flight, from Atlanta to Brasilia, was 8 and a half hours, even after taking some Nyquil I only managed to sleep for about an hour.  But I cant complain, we are here, safe and sound, poles in hand.  Sunday we vault at 8:10a.m.!  I think they schedule the meet around the hottest part of the day so we dont get dehydrated and croak.  Tomorrow were are planning on going to the track at 7a.m. to get the feel of getting up early and trying to compete.  Then after the meet we head to Belem for our 2nd and final meet on the 19th.  Ill do my best to keep you updated.

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Monday, May 3, 2010

Drake Relays and Indiana State

Oh man its been a while since my last post and i have a bit to update.  If youve read my last couple of posts you know that I have been struggling with my confidence level and dealing with hesitation in my vault.  In all sports you go through struggling times and it seems especially prevalent in the pole vault.

I was still struggling as i went to compete at the Drake Relays.  I was feeling healthy and hoping that i could start to turn things around at the meet.  Drake is one of my favorite meets to go to because the fans are awesome and Ive had great success with the mall vault in the last 2 years.  The only bad thing about Drake is that the weather never seems to cooperate, if the wind is good its raining, and if the rain holds off the wind is always crazy.  Well this year we had a little of both.  The rain held off until the very end of the vault but the wind was all over the place, it would be a tail wind in the back but a head wind in the front.  So during warmups I was really struggling with my run and wasnt able to get anything rolling.  I was able to make 5.22(17') on my third attempt, after that my run was starting to feel better.  I went up a pole and made 5.37(17'7") on my second attempt.  I was taking off way under so i was never really able to catch up to the pole.  My three jumps at 5.52m were not too great either but my run was feeling better each time.  

Last week i was determined to figure out what was going on and fix it.  Monday practice went pretty well from short run, afterward I decided to do some sliding box drills.  This is where you run and plant into a plastic box which slides along the ground.  I was running from 5 lefts and noticed that i was angled down a bit instead of driving my chest upwards.  I went over to the mats and did some drills where i was really trying to keep my chest driving up at the takeoff and it seemed to be helping a lot.  Wednesdays practice was awesome, one of the best of the year, I was holding high and jumping on big poles.  So i was really feeling confident going into the meet on Saturday.

There was a threat of thunderstorms all day Saturday but it held off for the mens vault.  They had a board runway set up on the track which made it feel a bit faster.  Warmups went awesome, I was taking off at 14ft and moving through my poles really well.  I came in at 5.40m(17'9"), came down the runway and jumped up big off the ground and made the bar easy.  I was ready to jump 19 ft i could feel it, everything was going really well as I went up to 5.55m (18'2).  I went up a pole and made another easy clearance!  I put the bar up to 5.70m (18'8), my first attempt I took off at 14'6" which is just a little too far out for me and rode the pole into the pit.  My second attempt was really good i just bumped the bar off on the way up.  Third attempt was my best of the meet and the pole ended up being too small.  I was frustrated that i wasnt able to jump higher since i was feeling so good but very happy with the way things ended up going.

I got some more good news, I will be heading to Brazil for 2 meets on the 16th and the 19th in Forteleza and Belem.  I will also be traveling to Europe at the end of the month for 3 meets which Im very excited for.
I will try to write more often so that my posts arent so long. 

Always Pursuing -Mark-