Road to NBNI Blogs: Harrison Williams, Week 4: Post-Nationals Wrapup
So New Balance Nationals Indoor didn’t go as well as I would have hoped.
Although I only jumped 15-10, there was a silver lining. Pole vault is a very weird and unique event. It’s one of the only events where if you are doing too well on competition day, it’s a bad thing. Typically, if you are feeling great and running really well in warm-ups, it’s a good sign, since it means you’ll be able to get on your bigger poles. However, if you are running TOO well, and you don’t have big enough poles, it’s a bad thing.
Unfortunately, at NBNI, I was running too well. I moved up poles fairly quickly, and ended up on my smaller 5-meter pole at 16-2. I had jumped on this pole in practice, but seeing as it was practice, I didn’t have near as much energy as in a meet, so I wasn’t even close to blowing through. However, with the exciting atmosphere and fast track at the Armory, I was feeling great and running really well. Unfortunately, that meant that I blew through pretty badly on all three attempts. We moved the standards back all the way to 80 on my last attempt, but I was so amped up on adrenaline for my last jump that I “crushed” the pole and pretty much hit the bar with my feet. I had no chance of clearing it.
Looking back, there really wasn’t anything I could have done to jump better. I couldn’t move up to my bigger 5-meter pole, because by the time we realized I was blowing through too much; it was my third attempt and I had never jumped on that pole, so my coach and I weren’t sure how I would handle it. Generally, pole vaulters try not to go up or down poles on their last attempt. In hindsight, I probably should have stayed on my biggest 16-foot pole for 16-2 and then move up to my 5-meter pole after that, but my coach and I were both eager to jump on the 5-meter poles.
Although my result at New Balance was disappointing, I did get to witness Devin King jump 17-10.75 and set a new national record. Devin cleared that bar by at least four inches, and it was an awesome jump. All he had to do was repeat that jump at 18-0 and he would have had it easily. He had three great attempts at 18-0, but it looked like the excitement and the crowd going insane got to him a little bit and he couldn’t quite put it together. Although he didn’t clear 18-0 at New Balance, I’m sure he’ll clear it early in the outdoor season, and most likely shatter the outdoor national record of 18-3.5.
My blowing through the 5-meter pole has made me very excited for this outdoor season. Hopefully, I can nail down my run and work on my inversion more before my next meet, the Arcadia Multis in California. However, because I will be competing in the decathlon, I’m going to need to keep training my other nine events and hopefully get a nice PR – not only in the pole vault, but also the decathlon!