Vaulters Excel to New Heights

Kaitlyn Bailey, Editor-in-Chief

Districts for the 2019 track season are around the corner, and track athletes are beginning to prepare. Members on the pole vault team traveled to a training center in Excelsior Springs on Sunday and continued to vault themselves to new heights.

Just Vault, a small facility in Excelsior Springs, attracts athletes throughout mid-Missouri since it opened in 1999. Founded by Todd Cooper, former Baylor vaulter and two-time United States Olympic trialist, Just Vault has trained athletes to be among the top vaulters in Missouri.

Out of nine Battle vaulters, six of those athletes have already landed a spot in districts. Hannah Sedgwick, former vaulter at Mizzou and William Jewel and coach at Just Vault, believes there are many reasons the team has been so successful.

“The teamwork in pole vaulting is just a different fraternity overall, and these athletes are just so supportive, but this school has a deep pool of talent and so because of their teamwork and support, it helps strengthen that and that’s why so many of them have qualified,” Sedgwick said.

Caleb Riley, vaulter, contributes a lot of his success to both Sedgwick and Brian Hancock at Battle.

“I think having multiple coaches helps a lot with the depth of my talent,” Riley said. “Different things resonate differently when a coach explains it a little different or when one coach points out something that the other coach didn’t see. I think that is a real benefit that not all vaulters get to experience.”

Amara Riechert, vaulter, also believes traveling to Excelsior Springs has helped elevate her jumping.

“Our season at Battle is obviously outdoors since we don’t have an inside facility, but in college, most schools have an indoor track season and so getting to practice in an environment that other students may not know helps us stand out because we can adjust comfortably depending on the situation we are in,” Riechert said.

Friends and family can support the pole vault team on May 11, at Troy High School.