So with that out of the way ill get to the good stuff. I came back from Europe on the 14th of July traveled to the Grand Haven Beach Vault in Grand Haven Michigan on the 16th. The beach vault is really where I started my professional career in 2007. Since the vault is right on the beach of Lake Michigan the wind that comes off the lake is pretty strong and in 2007 the wind ended up being right in our face at about 15mph. Everyone dropped to a short run and I ended up winning the competition and jumped 17ft from 6 lefts, at the time my best was only 17'6". In 2008 I went to the beach vault coming off a season of jumping 18'10", and qualifying for the Olympic trials. I had attempted to alter my run mid-way through the year which turned out to be a bad decision, I ended up no-heighting at the beach vault. So returning this year I had much bigger expectations. The vault started with warm weather and a decent tail/cross wind which as warm ups went on turned into a cross-wind. This is especially hard to deal with because the higher you jump the longer and heavier poles you need and the wind pushes those bigger poles around a lot more than smaller ones. I decided to enter the competition at 17ft to be sure I would make a height since the wind was tough. I made that on a pretty crappy jump but it doesn't matter how pretty it is as long as the bar stays up. The next height was 17'6", at this time there were about 3 or 4 guys left. I made the bar easily on a better jump. No other guys ended up making the bar so I had won the meet! I decided to continue at 18 ft since there were still a few girls jumping and I wanted to give the crowd a little bit of a show. But after being in the sun for a few hours I was really getting exhasuted and running out of energy. I came down the runway on my first attempt and for whatever reason the pole slipped out of hand, I came out unhurt but a bit unhappy. I made a little adjustment on my run and on my second attempt I cleared 18ft by about 8 inches. The meet record was 18'6" so for my next height I decided to go for the record and put it up to 18'7". By this time I was pretty dog tired and new I only had a few jumps left in me. I came down on my second attempt and something felt off off the ground so I nearly bailed the jump but I continued the jump, went upside dow, completed the turn and before I knew it I was falling down to the mats and the bar was still there! I was pretty happy to be able to jump that high even though I was tired and hadn't jumped that well at the meet.
Next was the Gill Factory Vault in Champaign Illinois. This is a great meet because it is held at the exact place where the poles are made. Were able to tour the factory and see from start to finish how our poles are put together, I learn something new every time I go on the tour. We jumped on saturday around noon. Warm ups started great for me we had a sweet tailwind and I was moving through poles easily. I even took up the 13.2 5.10m pole in warmups and had a great jump at a 19ft bungee. The competition started at 17ft, I decided to come in at 17'9 since warmups went so well. Right as the bar went up to 17'9 the wind did a total 180 degree turn and was straight in our face. Immediately everyone was struggling and noone was making the bar. I came down on my second attempt was about a foot under on the takeoff but made a really good clearance and made the bar. Next we went up to 18'1" i stayed on the 5m 13.3 flex since the wind was still bad. I had a pretty good jump and made the bar easily. I took a few more jumps at 18'5 and 18'9 but couldn't make it. I was a bit frustrated just because the conditions hindered me from jumping my best. But I still came away with the win and made a little money.
Right now I'm on my way to the Clovis street vault in Fresno California.