Windsor’s Andy Kotval had an exciting time last Wednesday while pole vaulting in a Sonoma County league meet.
After clearing 12 feet 6 inches to win the meet and equal his own SCL leading mark, he raised the bar to 13 feet. As shown below in the three photo sequence by Michael Lucid, he did not make it as his pole shattered into multiple pieces.
Kotval walked away from the attempted jump without any real injuries but I’m sure his heart was racing.
I broke three poles myself over the eleven years of vaulting, and what I found was as long as a vaulter is driving into the pit well on the bottom phase of the vault, that if your pole does snap you will end up landing in the nice soft pit. However if you’re not driving in properly, that is when some of the worst possible things can happen to you, because you can land head first into the metal box the pole is planted into.
Poles shatter in different ways, but on one of my three times, the plug that was on the bottom part of my pole took awhile to find because it landed over 50 yards away.