Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Extra Help for Vaulters Trying to Cross over the Bar

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Extra Help for Vaulters Trying to Cross over the Bar

Article excerpt

Imagine staring down a gravel runway at a bar 14 feet in the

air. All your concentration is focused on one spot in the ground

in which you must place your rail-thin pole and hoist yourself

into the air. Your only hope is that you cross the bar without

knocking it off its risers.

For pole vaulters, the thrill of reaching new heights is in the

air they breathe.

Ira Welborn, track coach at Terry Parker High School, started a

vaulting club that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The club not

only teaches all ages how to vault, but it also gives those who

compete on the high school level the opportunity to improve

themselves for summer meets such as the Sunshine State Games.

"Vaulting is a lot like golf," said Welborn, who started the

club last summer. "It's all about timing. If you take six weeks

off and then go up against Tiger Woods without practice, you're

in trouble."

Most vaulters start out using a 12-foot pole, then use longer

poles as the height on the bar increases. By the time the

vaulter has become comfortable with technique and ability to

cross the bar, he or she usually has increased the pole length

to 15 feet.

"When you first start out, you must work on your technique,"

said Welborn, who has been coaching at Parker for the past three

years.

Welborn, who has been vaulting since he was 13, said he is

impressed with the interest the club has generated. Twelve

people attended the club's meeting last Thursday. Welborn also

said that a 60-year-old woman from Gainesville has inquired

about vaulting.

Among the high school athletes in the club are Josh Rubens of

Wolfson, Katrina Lindsay of Sandalwood and Mason Cathey of

Bishop Kenny. All three athletes enjoyed much success this past

season.

Lindsay, who started the track season late for the Saints, has

improved her vaulting from 6 to 9 feet since joining the club.

Lindsay has been involved in track for the past two years. …

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