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Sky Invite 2004 (pole vault elite)

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If you wanted to see some of the best U.S. vaulters all jumping in a simple no frills competition then you should have been at the Sky Invite in Phoenix, AZ this past Friday.

Toby Stevenson won the men’s competition at 5.94 meters and has been on a roll this season. He was named USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week for his 6.00 meter jump in Modesto last week.

Jillian Schwartz (a vaultgirl) beat Stacy Dragila on less misses. Both women jumped 4.60 meters. This was the first time that I’ve ever seen a women’s vault competition live and in person. We didn’t have women in the event when I was in school and that was only 9 short years ago.

I’m still in a bit of shock from having witnessed such an impressive group of men and women vaulters. Just a few months ago I would never have guessed that I’d be getting so sucked back into Track & Field. Possibly the highlight of the night for me was not seeing the vault, but instead meeting one of my original Track & Field heros: Dan O’Brien.

Dan lives in Scottsdale and stopped by the Sky Invite to check things out. The announcer mentioned that he was in the crowd and I finally spotted him getting a deep muscle massage from the trainer that was onsite. I couldn’t resist going up to him and asking for a photo. He’s apparently training for the upcoming US Olympic trials, so it’s possible we may see him back in competition this summer.

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All this happened on Friday night. Saturday I had to work, but as soon as I was off I went down to the U of A track stadium to catch the last of the Pac-10 conference championships. This was another amazing event. The stands were packed, and I got to see some really sweet performances. Sheena Johnson claimed this week’s honor of USATF Athlete of the Week for her world leading 400m hurdle time. I also saw a 19 year old UCLA freshmen run a blazing fast 400m hurdle final, almost passing the stadium record set by none other than Edwin Moses.

For some of you non-track fans this may seem like I’m getting overly excited about some fools running in circles, but I have to tell you that it’s the only sport that I can say I truly love. I can’t believe I let it slip away so easily my freshmen year in college. I might be hooked back in for life now.

Sorry about the long pause in my blogging. I’ve been keeping myself pretty busy and for one reason or another couldn’t make the measly effort to give an update. I think everytime I get on the computer lately it’s to catch up on the reading (via bloglines of course).

Originally published on Tuesday May 18, 2004 at 7:00 pm

[2] Comments

First, I'm so jealous that when we watch the US Olympic Team compete in Athens this summer, you'll be able to say: Hey, I met him, or her, and got to see them compete. That is awesome! I laughed at the photo of you and Dan O'Brien...you both have GREY/WHITE in your hair!...or were my old eyes disceiving me?...Anyway, an awesome, and inspiring experience! I'm still disapointed that you didn't offer him your services as a Web designer/developer for his site, danobrien.com. Good luck and best wishes this Saturday on your first meet in How Long?
Love, Mom

Leah said this 13 years ago §

Whoops! Disappointed! How could I forget!!

Leah said this 13 years ago §

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