Changes planned for street vault (07-27-12)
Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor
Friday, 27 July 2012 09:45
LUCKEY - Eastwood's summer pole vault could have a new and hopefully improved look next year.
|Brian Sabo competes in the Eastwood street vault (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Next year's event could have a 5K run and another field event, said Brian Sabo, co-chairman of the original Pemberville Street Vault and the Eastwood Vault Competition.
The vault was held at Eastwood for the first time last Saturday and only 21 athletes competed.
The event started about six years ago and was held at the Pemberville Fair during the third week in August. Approximately 60 vaulters competed in 2008 and 2009, but the numbers have decreased each year since.
Sabo said the date and location were changed in an attempt to increase the number of vaulters and to lessen the amount of work in hosting the event.
The decrease in numbers resulted from some vaulters already being involved in a fall sport at their respective high schools, while others had already headed back to college.
Although the elevated runway was already in Pemberville, Sabo said it still look four truckloads to move the mats and rest of the vaulting equipment from the high school to Pemberville.
"We believe it can still be successful, but we're just trying to generate some more interest in it," said Sabo, who also competed in the event. He cleared 14-0 to finish second in the open division.
Proceeds are used to buy pole vaulting equipment at Eastwood. Sabo is Eastwood's boys head coach, while his wife, Nikki, is the girls head coach.
"We're going to add a 5K next year and maybe an event for the throwers," Brian Sabo said, adding it would probably be the shot put or the discus. "Those two events would increase the number of people around and give us more of a competition atmosphere."
The vault was held behind Pemberville Elementary School when it was held at the fair. The location allowed for spectators to watch the event.
During the first two years, the competition drew some of the best high school and college vaulters in Ohio and Michigan.
"It had a great atmosphere there," Sabo said.
Event co-chairman Terry McKibben also said next year's event will be better advertised.
McKibben is a teacher at Eastwood and a former pole vault coach at the University of Findlay. His son, Ryan, won a state championship in 2006.
"We didn't go a good job of getting the word out this year, that was important given the date change and the new location," Terry McKibben said. "We didn't get it advertised well enough. Hopefully, we can get back to where we have been in the past."
McKibben is the brother-in-law of the late Tim Downey, an assistant track coach at Otsego High School. He was one of the top pole vault coaches in Ohio. His sons were outstanding vaulters.
"Kids get into it and this gives them a chance to do it in a laid back atmosphere and to do it with their friends," McKibben added. "It's a neat way to keep active through the summer, and put money back into the program. It helps the exposure of the sport."
Sabo and McKibben brought the idea to Pemberville after watching a street vault in another state.
"This has always been a good event to come to," said Derek Hopkins, who won the open division with a height of 15-0.
Hopkins, who was at the event for the third time, recently completed his collegiate eligibility at Kent State. He was a three-time placer in the Mid-American Conference meet after winning a state high school championship as a senior at Whitmer in 2008.
"This is a great group to jump with. It's a lot of fun coming here and that's why you want to come back," Hopkins said.
In addition to the open division, separate divisions were held for middle school boys and girls, and high school boys and girls.
"Vaulting is a love-hate sport," Hopkins said. "You can be jumping high and jumping well and the next thing you know you hit a speed bump. You have to be a great athlete to do well because it takes both speed and strength to be successful. The attraction is going high and being up there."
"It's an addicting sport," McKibben said. "It's a thrill to be going to high over the bar and then coming down to the mat."
Other winners were: Zach Kubicki, middle school boys, 8-6; Emma Swisher, middle school girls, 7-6; Cody Swisher, high school boys, 14-6; and Amber Otermont, high school girls, 8-0.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 July 2012 09:49