Saturday, June 26, 2010


Holy Moly I just won a national championship!!!  Im pretty sure it still hasnt quite set in but wow, it feels pretty good.

Ill do my best to run you thru it.  I wasnt sure quite what to expect here at Drake, the winds are notoriously unpredictable, but we lucked out and probably had the best day ever at Drake stadium, that is why it is so crazy that everyone struggled.  There was a kicking tailwind the entire competition, warmups started and i was feeling a little sluggish, my back was feeling much better but was just a little tight, and my legs just felt a little tired.  I was able to get things going as warmups went on and had a great jump on my last one and made 18'5" easy.  Since it was so hot i decided to not take any more warmup jumps and try to stay out of the heat.  I had about a half an hour until my first jump and must have just cooled down a bit because my first time down the runway i was a foot out on my mid and took off around 15ft which is just a bit too far away for me and couldnt really finish the jump.  For my next one i made sure i was ready to go and came down and had to cut my jump a bit short to be sure i wouldnt hit the bar going up, since it was only 17'6" i had plenty of room and skyed the bar.  The first 2 heights took forever, for whatever reason everyone was struggling, either with their run or pole selection.  The bar went up to 5.50m 18', I was 2 in the rotation and my first jump my run was off again, i came down and was way under and had no chance of making the bar, made the adjustment and second time i came down and blew the bar up with an easy make.  The next bar was 5.60m 18'5", and there were only 3 people in the competition, myself, Jason Colwick and Derek Miles, I was sitting in 3rd so i knew that these next couple of jumps would be key to where i ended up placing.  Jason had passed 5.60 so it was just me and Derek and i was first up.  I ran down the runway, and everything was good, my mid and takeoff were right on, I went up, had a great jump and made the bar by about 5 or 6 inches.  So at this time i was sitting in first place,  but i really thought it would take at least one more bar to win.  Derek made it on his second attempt and all three of us passed to 5.70 or 18'8". 
 I was first up and my first attempt i had a good jump but the pole was just too small, we decided to go up to the next pole on the next try which was a 5m 12.5flex, the biggest pole i had and hadnt jumped on it before.  My second attempt i had a really good jump and plenty of height but just came off the pole on the top and hit off on the way up.  Neither Derek or Jason had made it yet so i was still sitting in first at this time.  Third attempt i got a little amped and pushed myself under and got ripped off the ground and had no chance.  So now the agony of waiting for the 2 others to jump, Derek was first, came down and was a bit off on his plant and had no chance, then Jason came down, looked really good off the ground but hit on the way up!   I won!!!!  How crazy is that.  What a great day, I sure wished i couild have jumped higher but a win is a win.  In the big competitions like these most of the time its all about who can jump the best on that day, and yesterday it was me. 
Always Pursuing -Mark-

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Off to USA's

Well I'm on the road to Des Moines, Iowa site of the 2010 USA national championships and thought I would take this extra time I have to finally blog about the last couple of weeks. I apologize to everyone for not blogging in such a long time.
I think I left off right before the golden roof challenge in Innsbruck, Austria. The day of the meet was just beautiful, I think because the weather was so crappy the rest of the trip. I was feeling really good during warmups, my run was confident and I was moving through poles really easily and took up the 5m 13.3flex or about 210lbs which I haven't done that in about a year.
The meet started and I decided to come in at 5.20 or 17ft, to make sure I would make a height, and I know the meet directors in Europe love it when you make a bar by a lot of height. So I came in and made the bar easily. As the meet went on I could tell the crowd was getting behind me and I was turning into the favorite. I made 5.20, 5.40,17'9", 5.50,18', all on first attempts. Then the bar went up to 5.62m or 18'5" which was also the meet record. I came blazin down the runway on the 2nd biggest pole I brought hit the take off and before I knew it I had cleared the bar and the crowd was going wild. There were about 4 other guys attempting the bar but noone was really close accept for jeremy. Jeremy came down and made it on his third attempt but I was in the lead because of misses. The bar went up to 5.72, 18'9", I had 3 really good attempts at it but couldn't keep the bar up and neither could jeremy. So I ended up winning because of misses.

I came home the next day after a trip that started off a little rough but ended up being great.

After being home a week mary and I were looking for a meet to vault at so we decided to go to a little street vault in illinois called the tremont street vault. I ended up jumping really well, made 18'6".

Well now its just one day before nationals and I'm excited, I've been jumpig really well in practice and think I'm ready to jump well tomorrow. I will definately have an update up saturday, I promise this time.

Always Pursuing,
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Well its been a little while since my last post but the last week has been just crazy traveling around western europe.  After Hengelo we traveled straight to Cologne or Kolne Germany, spent the night with a German vaulter named Michel Fraun who traveled with us to Vienna for our next meet.
The meet in Vienna was the first street vault they have had there and the meet director George is a great guy and really took good care of us.  The day started off fairly nice just a bit cloudy and temps around 60.  We got to the meet around 3:00 and ended up riding this "Big Wheel" which was a huge ferris wheel that once was the biggest in the world.  After that there was a junior competition and we were couple with some up and comers from Austria, we helped to coach them and they helped to catch our mids and takeoffs which was kind of cool.  I know that when i was in high school if Tim Mack or Jeff Hartwig had helped me out and coached me a bit that would have been huge. 
After the Junior comp, we started warming up and wouldnt you know it just as we did the rain started to come down.  Nothing too heavy but consistent  enough that i had to tape my poles probably 3 times each.  The runway was about 15 ft too short for my long run and so i had to come from 8 steps.  I havent run from 8 in about 2 years, but a little suprisingly it was an easy transition.  I had a great warmup, got on the 13.6 and bombed about  16'6".  Since the rain was still coming down i decided to take it easy and come in at 5.15m or 16'11".  I came down and made the bar by probably a foot and a half or so. Next the bar went to 5.30m 17'5", i think it took me two jumps to make the bar after a few adustments, but by then i was on and feeling a pretty good day coming.  Bar went up to 5.40 and it was just Jeremy and myself in the comp.  I came down the runway first time and had a great jump, just hit the bar off on the way up.  I knew i had the bigger pole, but decided to stay on the smaller one and push the standards back, had another great jump, took off around 14ft and made the bar.  Jeremy had made it on his first so he was in the lead going to 5.50 18ft. 
At 5.50m i dont know if the weather was getting to me or what, but as soon as i went up to the bigger pole i was under on my takeoff and just couldnt put a good jump together.  So Jeremy and I tied at 5.40m but because he made it on his first he won the comp. 
I was def dissapointed because the way I was feeling 18ft was no problem that day even with the weather. 

Well here I am in Innsbruck Austria after a day of travel, we left Vienna this morning at 9 and got to Innsbruck by train at around 2.  All the vaulters were taken to an outdoor adventure park called Area 47, check it out We got to do the zip line which was over 300m long, which was pretty cool but nothing compared to the flying fox,  we climbed up to the underside of this bridge and climbed along some log bridges, dont worry i have pictures to upload.  They we got to the end and were attached to 2 ropes, so now Im about 130ft up, and you jump off, freefall for about 25ft and then you swing out over the parking lot, it was a lot like bungee jumping, i also have some video that i will upload some time. 

Tomorrow is the meet here in Innsbruck, and its looking like were gonna have some great weather!  Finally!!! says 75degrees and sunny, holy cow it would be nice to have one meet here with decent weather.  I have been feeling good and know i just need one good day and 19ft is gonna happen.  And why not tomorrow?  Thats my attitude going into the meet, im going to just trust my vault and have some fun, and i know the heights will happen.  Well i dont come home until Sunday so i will have plenty of time to update on Saturday, as far as I know right now at least. 
Thanks to everyone for your comments on Facebook, they really do help!  Seeya on the other side.

Always Pursuing -Mark-