Mayotte Reaching Greater Heights with New Pole

By Considine, Mike | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Mayotte Reaching Greater Heights with New Pole


Considine, Mike, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Mike Considine Daily Herald Sports Writer

Progress in the pole vault isn't always visible to the naked eye.

The Geneva Invitational was a successful meet for Vikings senior Mike Mayotte, although he didn't improve his season best. Measured only by that standard, Mayotte would seem to be stuck at 12-foot-6.

The exciting development was that he made all his attempts with a longer, 15-foot pole.

"It was the first time I stayed on it without using other poles," Mayotte said. "I almost got 13 (feet).

"In other meets, when I bent it, I didn't shoot up as much. Once I get everything straightened out, I'll be doing a lot better."

Mayotte has made impressive progress so far. His season best last year was 11-6, and that was recorded outdoors. He cleared 12-6 indoors this year.

"I'm thrilled with his progress from last year to this year," Geneva pole vault coach Jerry Vitton said. "He's just a completely different vaulter. He's much more confident, and he helps the younger kids an awful lot."

Mayotte nearly was Geneva's fourth consecutive Suburban Prairie Conference indoor pole vault champion. Former Vikings Cliff Carlson, Ryker Jones and Mitch Kasperkiewicz were the previous winners.

The SPC meet was the first in which Mayotte used the 15-foot pole.

He lost a jump-off to Brandon Shreve of Plainfield for the title in March and finished second at 12-6. Shreve cleared 12-9 after each of them had three misses at 13-0.

When two or more vaulters clear the same height and have the same number of misses, their order of finish is decided by a jump- off. The bar is lowered and the first one to clear the designated height is the winner. The importance of endurance becomes magnified.

Mayotte was at a disadvantage because he had taken more jumps than Shreve. He also switched to a longer pole as the competition progressed and was still adjusting to it.

"He came in at 11-6," Mayotte said. "I came in at 10-6. I was a little bit tired by the time I got on the 15-foot pole."

As he masters the 15-foot pole, or perhaps a heavier one, Mayotte is aiming for his first Class AA meet.

"Hopefully, I'll place," Mayotte said.

Vitton said, "If he just keeps doing what he's doing, he has a good chance to get there."

Carlson Classic: The boys portion of tonight's Carlson Classic figures to be two competitions in one: the battle for early Suburban Prairie Red bragging rights, and the one for local Class A supremacy.

Batavia and Plainfield are the top contenders for the team title in the 4:30 p.m. meet. DeKalb might push them, if it enters its best lineup.

"Plainfield is one of the better teams in our conference and DeKalb is very solid all the way through," Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. "Burlington Central is always one of the best programs in Class A. St. Francis could challenge in Class A, and ACC has one of the better (3,200) relays in the area."

How close smaller schools like Burlington Central, St. Francis and Aurora Central Catholic are to contention could reveal much about their potential this season. …

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