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Boys' Player of the Week : Coach's Approach Brings Noel to New Heights

April 12, 1988|BARBIE LUDOVISE | Times Staff Writer

David Noel of Edison High School has a fairly simple game plan when it comes to the pole vault.

"It's mostly positive thinking," Noel said. "That, and a little visualization before the jump."

But Noel's coach, Rick Foster, has a slightly different approach, especially when the going gets high, say around 16 feet.

"I just don't let David know what height he's at," Foster said. "There's so many mental barriers in the pole vault. What good does it do if the kid knows what he's up against?"

And when Foster raises the bar, it's not, as Noel prefers, by an inch or two at a time. It's often, without Noel's knowing, in increments of six or more inches.

"I just tell him to get down the runway and get ready," Foster said. "Then I raise the standards. He can't tell how high I'm raising them from down there."

Asked whether he agrees with Foster's views on hiding the height, Noel said: "Oh, it's just his try at psychology, I guess. He thinks it's some big trick. Though I guess it does help sometime."

Last Thursday, Noel, The Times' player of the week, cleared 16-4, the best mark in the state this season and a personal best by 10 inches.

The mark, two inches from the Orange County record of 16-6, broke the school record of 15-8 1/2, set 11 years ago by Steve Rakhshani. Rakhshani was in attendance Thursday.

Noel first cleared 15-6, his previous best, without a problem. He asked Foster not to raise the bar more than an inch or two for his next attempt.

Foster raised the bar to 16-0.

"I see no use fooling around if a kid's on a roll," Foster said.

Noel, thinking he was going for 15-8 or 15-9, cleared the bar easily.

"As I was landing, I could hear everyone screaming and clapping," Noel said. "I thought, all right, I must've broken the school record."

Noel then cleared 16-4 on his first attempt. The next try--16-6 1/2, a mark that would rank him No. 1 in the nation--was too much, as he missed on three tries. But the 16-4 mark left him satisfied--for the moment.

"All summer, I was hoping that I could get over 16 feet," Noel said. "But I never really sat myself down and considered whether I really \o7 could \f7 do it. It's one of those things you just hope for."

TOP PERFORMERS

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Kaleaph Carter of Edison put the shot 63-feet 2 3/4-inches--the nation's leading mark this season--to win the event at the Arcadia Invitational Saturday. In a dual meet Thursday, Carter broke his two-year-old school discus record by 3 1/2 feet with a toss of 167-7, the leading mark in the county this season.

Bob Navarette of Valencia threw a no-hitter, as the Tigers defeated Savanna, 4-0. Navarette struck out eight and walked two.

Kyle Schaetzl of Sonora had six hits, two home runs and five runs batted in, as the Raiders won two Freeway League games. Schaetzl had game-winning RBIs in both victories.

David Noel

Edison High School

Event: Pole vault.

Height, Weight, Class: 6-1, 160, Sr.

Last Week: Noel vaulted 16-feet 4-inches, the best mark in the state this season and a personal best by 10 inches. The mark, two inches from the Orange County record of 16-6, broke the school record of 15-8 1/2, set 11 years ago by Steve Rakhshani.

Season: Noel is undefeated in dual meets. He was the pole vault champion at the Beach Cities Invitational and runner-up at the Rio Mesa Invitational.

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