I got a chance to see my brother's son Kris practice polevaulting at SUNY Binghamton. Here he is going over 16 feet.
This is a family tradition. Kris's dad, my brother Tom was a 2 time NY State Highschool Polevault Champion and record holder. He was the first highschool vaulter in NY to clear 16'. He was recruited to MTSU in 1980 by Coach Dean Hayes. Tom's MTSU polevault record still stands today at 16'1" - a record that has lasted 27 years. The longevity of this record speaks to the fact that those successful in the complex sport of polevaulting are quite rare. It takes speed, strength, gymnastic ability, technique, and courage.
Here is a photo of brother Tom flying high, wearing the MTSU Blue Raider uniform with the ceiling of MTSU's Murphy Center in the background.
I was never as successful as Tom in track as shoulder injuries cut my polevaulting career short, but I did manage to win a few sectional Gold medals in sprinting and sprint relays (indoor 60, 4x200), and a Silver in the long jump. I had a pretty good start in the sprints. Here's a photo of one of my high school 100 races a few steps after the starting gun.
My new goals for running are overall health and I continue to run today, not sprints but 5k races.
I credit these abilities to good genes. My dad was a stand out athlete, polevault record holder and all-conference semi-pro football player in the EFL.
My mom is a renown dance teacher and choreographer. Her students have performed prominent roles on Broadway, appeared in major Hollywood movies, Vegas shows, ballet companies, etc... Tom's daughter Kari is a very talented singer and dancer. Tom plays guitar and both he and his wife Debbie are good singers.