The 2012 edition of the Windy City Pole Vault Summit, to be held Saturday, March 3 (3 p.m.), at Rolling Meadows High School (Rolling Meadows, IL) looks to live up to the standards of past editions. Most of the best vaulters from across Illinois will be attending the 11th annual pole vault-only meet, including state leaders Sarah Bell of Bloomington Central Catholic and Eric Gordon of Normal Community West.
On the girl’s side, Bell is looking to increase her lead over the rest of the state. Her vault of 12-8 at the Reno PV Summit gave her a #4 U.S. ranking. Autumn Conn of Burlington Central and Brittney Hull of Normal Community will push Bell. Both these girls are close to breaking the 12-foot barrier.
There will also be a host of other returning all state vaulters, including Emily Schwart of Wheaton Warrenville South, Katie Trupp of Burlington Central, and 1A State Champion Alyssa Applebee of Seneca. Notably absent from this years meet is the state’s top returnee, Carolina Carmichael from Lake Forest - who reached 11-3 last year at the meet and has gone 11-6 this winter.
On the boy’s side, Gordon will be bringing his talents up north to go up against a field that includes 2A 6th-place finisher Mark Panno of Pontiac, Alec Brazeau from Wheaton Warrenville South, York’s 14-9 vaulters Nick Sgarbossa and Shawn John, and the Lake Park duo of Tim Ehrhardt and Derrick Smith.
Historically, this meet has brought in some of the top marks in the nation. This group of elite winners includes University of Oregon and Marian Catholic's Melissa Gergel, who set the meet record of 13 feet in 2006 and won the NCAA outdoor pole vault championship last season. For the boys, the meet record is 16-7.5 set by Rolling Meadows' Mick Viken in 2009. Viken won the event three years in a row and went on to win the 2009 IHSA State Championships and has since set the school record at Eastern Illinois University, vaulting 17-7.75.
Past Windy City Pole Vault Summit Winners
YEAR NAME HEIGHT
2002 Dave Viken (Rolling Meadows) 14'0"
2003 Dave Viken (Rolling Meadows) 15'9"
2004 Josh Grys (Pekin) 14'6"
2005 Garrett Seager (Northrup, IN) 14'9"
2006 Jake Winder (Plainfield C.) 16'7"
2007 Mick Viken (Rolling Meadows) 15'3"
2008 Mick Viken (Rolling Meadows) 16'6"
2009 Mick Viken (Rolling Meadows) 16'7.5"***
2010 Cody Klein (Sparta) 16'6"
YEAR NAME HEIGHT
2002 Not Contested
2003 Megan Rossi (Downers Grove S.) 10'6"
2004 Jamie Watanabe (Palatine) 10'9"
2005 Taylor Troemel (Normal) 12'3"
2006 Melissa Gergel (Marian Cath) 13'0"***
2007 Melissa Gergel (Marian Cath) 12'0"
2008 Sarah Ross (H.D. Jacobs) 11'3"
2009 Caley Faulkner (Naperville Central) 11'6"
2010 Anna Etherington (Barrington) 11'9"
*** denotes record