This weekend, Olympic silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski broke the indoor American pole vault record by jumping 15 FEET 9 and ¾ INCHES at the Boston Indoor Games. The impressiveness of this feat is clearly demonstrated in the picture; the length of Jenn’s pole (Give or take 15 feet plus another 8 inches to account for planting it into the sunken box) is shorter than the height of the crossbar, meaning that Jenn has to invert her entire body almost 2 feet above the length of the pole. In 2003, USA TODAY ranked pole vaulting as the third hardest task in athletics (driving a race car 200 mph and hitting a baseball at 100 mph ranked second and first, respectively). Using media-friendly scientific jargon, “vaulting is a matter of redirecting kinectic energy of the runner’s approach speed upward, aided by a long fiberglass pole. To do it, athletes need speed for the sprint, strength for lift-off and flexibility to bend the body over the bar.”
Science has spoken; pole vaulting and Jenn Stuczynski’s record breaking performance are both awesome.