June 10, 2005 |
Chelsea Johnson sat alone in the twilight, staring at the track but seeing nothing except the end of her chance to win a second successive NCAA pole vault title. Jon Rankin, who had the second-best collegiate time in the 1,500 this season and was the Pacific 10 champion, threw his hands up in disbelief after he finished seventh in his heat in 3 minutes 48.51 seconds, too slow to advance to the final of an event he was considered a contender to win.
August 28, 2004 |
On a night when two American women failed to complete the simple exchange of a baton, two American men tightened the United States' newfound grip on Olympic pole vaulting. So which was the bigger story?
August 22, 2004 |
The shoe didn't fit, but defending women's Olympic pole vault champion Stacy Dragila wore it anyway. And because she was uncomfortable in new footwear designed for her by Nike -- shoes she had praised at a news conference earlier this week -- she injured her Achilles' tendons and couldn't jump, thereby missing an important element of her workouts. That, in turn, led to her elimination Saturday in the qualifying round of the event she has done so much to promote and advance.
July 31, 2004 |
Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia set a world record in the women's pole vault for the third time in five weeks, clearing 16 feet-0 3/4 on Friday in the London Grand Prix. Maurice Greene, who blamed his defeat on a poor start, lost to Asafa Powell of Jamaica, who finished in 9.91 seconds to win the men's 100 meters. Powell, 21, ran the fastest time on British soil. He is undefeated this season and served notice he could be among the favorites in the event at the Athens Olympics.
July 26, 2004 |
Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva broke the world record in the women's pole vault Sunday, clearing 16 feet, 1/2-inch at the Norwich Union International meet. Isinbayeva's record broke the previous mark of 16 feet by compatriot Svetlana Feofanova on July 4 at Iraklion, Greece. That broke Isinbayeva's record of 15-11 3/4 set in England on June 27. "It's crazy, it's amazing, it's fantastic," a giggling Isinbayeva said. "England is a lucky country for me," she said.
July 12, 2004 |
Pole vaulter Toby Stevenson wears a roller-blade helmet as a precaution against possible injury, but what about insult? Because Stevenson celebrates successful jumps with his own private game of Landing Pit Charades -- look, he's a robot, he's a bull rider, he's a cowboy with a six-shooter -- someone had the audacity Sunday to call him "the Terrell Owens of pole vaulting." Except Stevenson never competes equipped with Sharpie and/or cheerleader's pom-poms. He doesn't need the extra weight.
July 10, 2004 |
Jeff Hartwig can see clearly now, laser surgery having solved the contact lens problem that caused him to flinch at the 2000 U.S. Olympic track and field trials. And what are those numbers his new and improved eyes are detecting today, if not quite believing? 0 for 6. Six attempts to clear a height in the pole vault in two U.S. Olympic track and field trials at Sacramento State, zero successes.
May 11, 2004 |
If there's a teenager enjoying life more thoroughly than Clay Johnson of Atascadero, please speak up. A week ago, on a Sunday, Johnson left home at 7 a.m. to surf at Morro Bay. He returned to practice pole vaulting for an hour in his backyard. Then he went with friends to Lake Nacimiento in Paso Robles for four hours of wakeboarding. He's 6 feet 1, 145 pounds and a free spirit in every sense.
April 24, 2004 |
She is not the best girls' pole vaulter in the Southland. Nor is she the region's top performer in the shotput or discus. But senior Whitney Johnson of Mission Viejo could achieve a first of sorts if she advances to the Division I final in those three events in the Southern Section track and field championships at Cerritos College on May 22.