Miles and Schwartz Take Pole Vault Summit


The following is a strong piece by Kirby Lee on the competition at the Pole Vault Summit. But that is only part of the Summit. American Athletics did its first piece on the Summit way back in 1993, when Sergei Bubka's former coach, Vitaly Petrov, (who is now the coach of Yelena Isinbayeva and the winner of the IAAF Coach of Year award) visited the event.

The Pole Vault Summit is the labor of love of many in the vault world. With over 1,300 vaulters, 72 competitions and numerous seminars, the first weekend of January puts Reno on the map as the Pole Vault Capital of the World, for a weekend.

I encourage all coaches and vaulters to find a way to trek to Reno for this event. It has helped reinvigorate one of our favorite events in track and field!

Please read the fine article by Kirby Lee, done for the IAAF web site:

Miles, Schwartz Winners at National Pole Vault Summit
Saturday 5 January 2008

Reno, Nevada, USA – Derek Miles is almost good as new.

Miles, who was sidelined for nearly a year from complications from a stress fracture in his tibia, scaled 5.80m to win the elite men’s competition in the National Pole Vault Summit at the Reno Livestock Events Center on Friday (4 Jan).

Jillian Schwartz won the women’s competition at 4.30m in the 18th annual meeting that features more than 1,300 athletes in 72 pole vault competitions contested simultaneously in 12 pits over two days.

Miles Outduels Stevenson to collect fourth Reno victory

Miles won the competition with a third-attempt clearance at 5.80m to defeat Toby Stevenson, who finished second 5.70m after a near miss on his first of three attempts at 5.80m. Jeff Ryan was third at 5.50m and Jeff Hartwig, who turned 40 last September, was fourth in an age 40 world best of 5.50m.

Miles’ triumph marked the fourth Summit win for the seventh-place finisher in the 2004 Olympic Games. Miles, 35, won three consecutive titles from 2002-04 but his win on Friday was particularly gratifying after missing the 2006 season and much of the 2007 campaign because of a stress fracture in his middle right tibia in his non takeoff leg.

Miles had surgery to place a titanium intramedullary rod in December 2006 but was sidelined for almost a year because of the injury. He waited for half a year hoping for the injury to heal before the surgery and needed six months of rehab after the surgery. Miles still isn’t able to do plyometrics or hard running because of the condition.

“When I finally started to pole vault, I had no training,” Miles said. “Ever since then, I have slowly been adding strength. Now, that I have had a full fall to train it’s starting to comeback around.”

Optimistic for 2008

Miles cleared an indoor best of PB of 5.85m in 2005 but his performance at this Summit was his best ever from an abbreviated 12-step approach. He said the adrenalin from the enthusiastic crowd helped him on Friday.

“I am kind of excited but I am kind of like ‘I have no idea where I am at’,” Miles said. “I am jumping OK from 12 steps but I need to move back to my long run and do the same thing.”

The rest will be up to his coaches Earl Bell and Lucky Huber. Miles splits time between Bell in Jonesboro, Ark. and his college coach Lucky Huber in Vermillion, S.D. Bell assists Miles with his technique while Huber works with Miles on strength and speed.

“I am back and forth all the time wherever that I feel like I need to go, “ Miles said. “Right now, it’s about time to work on a little bit of technique stuff and keep on the strength stuff.”

Schwartz Wins on Misses over Asay and Holliday

In the women’s competition, Schwartz won on misses over Eric Asay and Becky Holiday at 4.30m. Schwartz and Asay each cleared 4.30m on their first attempt but an opening miss for Asay at the first height of 4.10m gave Schwartz the victory. Holiday cleared 4.30m on her third try.

Kirby Lee for the IAAF

Results -

Men -
1. Derek Miles (USA) 5.80m
2. Toby Stevenson (USA) 5.70m
3. Jeff Ryan (USA) 5.50m
4. Jeff Hartwig (USA) 5.50m
5. Jeremy Scott (USA) 5.40m
nh - Jacob Pauli (USA), Giovani Lanaro (MEX) and Nick Hysong (USA)

Women -
1. Jillian Schwartz (USA) 4.30m
2. Erin Asay (USA) 4.30m
3. Becky Holiday (USA) 4.30m
4. Erica Bartolina (USA) 4.20m
5. Kira Sims (USA) 4.10m
=6. Kaitlin Rains (USA) and Melinda Owen (USA) 3.95m
8. Jessie Gallaher (USA) 3.95m

For the complete story and photos, click to this link at the site:

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