Street Pole Vault to be featured at 89th Kansas Relays Presented by Subway
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Lawrence will again be the site of one of the more unique track events in the United States as the 89th Kansas Relays presented by Subway will feature a Street Pole Vault Exhibition it was officially announced Wednesday. The event is set for 5:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 21 and will be held in the parking lot of the Salty Iguana restaurant near the corner of Sixth and Wakarusa in west Lawrence.
“This is another way we are trying to expose track & field to the community,” said the director of the Kansas Relays, Milan Donley. “With the success of the downtown shot put and long jump events in past years, we know this will be another fun and unique event that will interest fans from around Lawrence.”
The event will feature four males and four females, all professionals, in an exhibition-style pole vault competition. There will be predetermined heights, with each athlete earning a dollar amount per clearance. Just like a normal pole vault event, if an athlete fails to clear a bar after three attempts at one height, he or she will be out of the competition. The final vaulter remaining in each gender will be declared the winner.
The men’s field will include former Kansas track standout Jordan Scott. Scott was a seven-time Big 12 champion while vaulting for the Jayhawks and claimed the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championship in the event. Since his days in Lawrence, Scott has enjoyed a successful professional career, which has seen him claim a host of event victories including the 2013 USA Indoor Championship. Jack Whitt will join Scott in the street vault. Whitt grabbed a spot on Team USA for the 2013 World Outdoor Championships at age 23 and claimed third at the USA Outdoor Championships that same year after a standout career at Oral Roberts. He won every Summit League and Southland Conference title in which he competed and claimed the 2012 NCAA Outdoor title.
Mark Hollis is also slated to make the journey to Lawrence in two weeks. Hollis is a two-time USA Champion. His vaulting career took off after his high-profile wins at the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships and 2010 Millrose Games before he claimed a spot on Team USA for the 2011 World Championships. Hollis was also a two-time NAIA Champion for Olivet Nazarene in 2006 and 2007. Up-in-coming German star Carlo Paech will round out the field. Paech is the reigning German indoor pole vault champion and most recently took 10th at the IAAF World Championships in March. A 2009 silver medalist at the World Youth Championships, Paech was also a finalist at the World Outdoor Championships in Beijing last summer.
The women’s field is still being completed and will be announced at a later date.
In addition to the pole vault, Salty Iguana will offer food and beverages for sale in the parking lot during the event, weather permitting. Appearances by Big Jay and Baby Jay will also be a part of the festivities.
The 89th Kansas Relays presented by Subway will be held at Rock Chalk Park April 20-23. The event will feature thousands of collegiate and high school competitors over the four days of competition and, for the second year, include a scored collegiate quadrangular competition between Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado State and Rice. For additional details as well as ticket information, log on to KansasRelays.com.
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