Thursday, July 7, 2011

A few videos...Finally I know

Haha so here I am in the Bratislava airport of all places and they have free WiFi! Woohoo! I thought i would use the 5 hours i have before my flight to upload a few videos. So here they are in chronological order, my favorite is either the 5.60 make at the Gill Factory vault just because the top is so smooth, if i could do that all the time, oooh baby. The 70 make is pretty good as well, that pole kind of just tosses me over that bar pretty easily.

USA Nationals 5.54m

Gill Athletics Factory vault, 5.60m


And finally 5.28m from Vienna just to get a look at the venue.

SO there you have it, if anyone wants to see any other videos just let me know, and again any questions or comments you may have Im always happy to hear from you guys.

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Update from Vienna

This sport can drive a man crazy!  I forgot to tell you that over the weekend at the Gill Factory Vault I jumped 5.70m/18'8" a season best!  I was feeling pretty good about it and excited about coming overseas to jump in a couple of meets, and I still am dont get me wrong.  I landed in Munich around 8am on Monday and was picked up and driven about 4 hours to Vienna.  I jumped here in Vienna last year and we dealt with rain the entire meet,  I finished in 2nd place jumping 5.40m/ 17'9".

Well this year the weather looked like it may cooperate but as we got closer to the time of the meet we had intermittent showers.  The rain held off for most of the afternoon and it looked like we might luck out.  I wasnt feeling too bad, the legs were warming up but my calf was pretty sore.  I took a couple jumps in warmups from short run to get a feel for the set up and things felt good.  I moved back to my full run and my legs just werent moving too well, and after taking about 6 jumps it just wasnt happening, and it looked like the rain was coming in.  So i decided that rather than take the chance of not making a height I would start at the opening height and jump from my short run to make a few bars.  I made 4.80m, 5m, and 5.15m all from my short run but when the bar went to 5.28m/17'3" I knew I needed to move back to my long run.  I did and I actually felt better than all of my warmups and was able to make the bar on my third attempt.  The bar went up to 5.40 and my legs just werent cooperating, I couldtn hit the same takeoff spot 2 times in a row.  I had a lot of fun and know that the meet director was happy with my performance, he even told me I was voted best performer!  Not the height I was looking for but still a good time.

After the meet I got word that I got accepted into the Paris Diamond League meet on Friday!  Tomorrow I fly to Paris and get ready to jump on a very big stage with some of the worlds best.  Quite the meet to pick up while im here.  

Always Pursuing -Mark-

Monday, July 4, 2011

USA's, Gill Factory Vault, and oh yeah Im off to Europe Land again.

Well Im here now in Vienna after about 26 hours of travel.  I had a huge blog written that took me probably 4 hours and I opened up my browser to send it and its all gone!  So heres the replacement.

Like I said in my last post I was really struggling the last month and a half or so.  My last trip to Europe was a disaster, it was like I had totally forgot how to pole vault, I couldnt hit a takeoff or catch the ride from the bend like any professional vaulter should be able to do on every jump.  So going into USA's I really didnt know what to expect, I was of course hoping for the best, hoping that it would all just come back to me when I stepped on the runway but knew it wasnt going to be easy.

There was some great news that came before nationals that really helped.  I got a call from my agent Jeff Hartwig telling me had been working hard on my behalf to get me a contract with Nike!  Its been a long time coming and I had really just gotten used to the fact that it might never happen.  I cant tell you how blessed i am to have been given the breaks and blessings that I have, and this is just one more to add to the list.

Amanda and I flew to Eugene thursday before the meet, and had about a day before the competition to just relax and get some therapy.  The meet organizers always have an amazing selection of massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists who do some great work.  So after getting worked on a couple of times, I was feeling great going into the meet.  My game plan the whole week leading up to the comp was to get into a good rhythm in warmups and make small changes one jump at a time to get into a groove.  Well the conditions were so good that it took me 4 jumps in warmups to leave the ground so that plan was out the window.  I came in at 5.35m/17'6 came down the runway, left the ground, felt horrible but made it over the bar.  Bar goes up to 5.45m/17'9 and I made it pretty easily, im starting to feel a little more confident after every jump becaue its just getting better and better.  It took me 2 attempts to make 5.54m/18'2 but my jump felt awesome, i finally felt something familiar and I knew i could make the next bar easily...right.

We went up to 5.60m/18'4 and I picked up the next pole, one I hadnt jumped on in almost a year, came down the runway planted the pole and it twisted so hard it my hand that I almost lost my grip.  I knew something was up but couldnt figure it out, I tried the same pole on my 2nd attempt and this time it twisted hard enough that i lost my grip and flew into the pit upside down landing on my shoulders.  Now Im pretty pissed off, theres 2 jumps down the drain.  I went back down to the pole I was using before and hit the bar off on the way down.  Game over...just like that.  I was pretty disappointed to say the least, 2 years ago I had jumped in Eugene with a broken toe and finished in 5th place, one place from making the world championship team.  This year I finished 4th, one place from making the world champ team again.  But there seems to be a silver lining, Nick Mossberg the guy who finished in 3rd place has to jump 5.60m by August 8th to make the team and if he doesnt Im on the team, so now I wait.

Now Im in Vienna getting ready for my comp tomorrow, last year they had an awesome live feed but this year they are not.  Hoping for great weather and even better jumping, wish me luck!

Always Pursuing -Mark-