I finally hurdled that 18 foot barrier that had been avoiding me all indoor season so far. It's been a big year for me so far in practice, nutritionally, physically, and mentally, but I just haven't gotten the results I've wanted yet. You better believe I'm still not even close to being satisfied with 5.50m, but it's a barrier nonetheless. 5.50m is the qualifying mark for the Indoor US Championships NEXT WEEKEND. I already booked my flight, hotel, and planned a flight straight from Albuquerque out to LA on the Tuesday after USA's to leave for Japan that same day. I finally got on my 5m 13.7 pole again and it proved to be a money pole once again! Before this weekend, my season best was 5.41m/17'9"... sub-par for a professional pole vaulter. Being consistently over 5.60m with a few meets over 5.70m and 5.80m over the next year, then higher from then on. Now that you know where my head's at, we'll find out where my results will be throughout the year. On Friday I jumped in the Missouri Collegiate Challenge with 12 other guys and opened up at 5.30m/17'4.5". I cleared it on my second attempt and 3 of us who cleared that decided to move up to 5.42m because we thought that would be the bar that would qualify us for USA's since there aren't many guys over 5.50m/18'0.5" (the automatic qualifying mark). None of us made 5.42m... I never even got a shot at 5.50m, which was my ultimate goal for this weekend. I had entered myself in both competitions at Missouri, the college meet on Friday and the High School/Open Meet on Saturday, held at the same track just in case I needed to jump in both. Well unfortunately I needed that second meet to attempt a higher qualifying mark. I already mentioned that my season best this indoor season was 5.41m... Well I decided to start the competition at 5.50m/18'0.5". I'm not sure how often other people start one of their most crucial competitions at a height I haven't even jumped yet this year. By gosh it was just what I needed! The girls competition started at 8:30am and lasted until 12:45pm. The boys comp started at 2:00pm and 6 hours later, I cleared 5.50m on my second attempt! It was a new record long competition that lasted 6.5 hours total. I proudly took up the last half hour! After I cleared 5.50m (by scraping it pretty good, ha) I moved up to 5.72m/18'9.25" (Olympic and World Championships Qualifying Standard, which I have to clear if I want to make it to those meets). I haven't seen the videos yet, but I had 2 good attempts at it which was what I really wanted. I need more attempts at higher bars like that which was part of the reason why I skipped all the way up to it. The other reason was because I jumped the day before and my legs were fried! To conclude this session, I have officially qualified for the US Indoor Championships next Sunday and I plan on competing for a spot on the podium! I will then fly from Albuquerque to LA, on to Japan, compete at the Nishida Cup in Toyota City on March 3rd, then come back to the States on the 4th!
On another note, I just accepted a sponsorship from PowerBar to be on their Team Elite! So I want to thank PowerBar for the awesome opportunity and I hope to make you a proud sponsor!! So everybody go buy something from PowerBar.com RIGHT NOW!
Last thing, I promise... Nevho Designs is currently building me a new website and I will be launching it by the end of this week if I can get stuff done on my end in time!!