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Continued: Vaulters climbing to new heights

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 14, 2013 - 2:19 PM

It all came together on Bares’ second attempt at 15-9 last week. Planting the pole, Bares swung his feet forward until the soles of his shoes were momentarily parallel with the evening sky before he twisted and arched over the bar as he jettisoned the pole.

The crowd, alerted ahead of time by the track’s public address announcer, erupted and Bares clapped his hands during free fall. Bares later noted the sun had set well before his leap and the buzzing stadium lights were not positioned to provide much light. No matter. “Cougars hunt at night,” joked his father, David.

Though he had failed to clear 15-9 more than a dozen times, Bares said he “looked at the bar and for some reason it didn’t look that high.”

Bares, Krieger and Valli shot themselves skyward with a similar ease last week while practicing together after a photo session at Blake’s Hopkins campus. All three took aim at the bungee bar set at 16 feet, 6 inches and were not far from clearing.

Krieger’s ultimate goal is for one of them to clear 17 feet and garner nationwide attention for a state not known for producing elite pole vaulting marks.

“I don’t care which one of us it is, I just want to see the Minnesota state pole vault record at 17 feet or higher,” Krieger said. “I want this group of good vaulters to be remembered.”







 

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  • Lakeville South senior Lee Bares broke the state record at the Class 3A, Section 1 meet at Lakeville North. Bares cleared 15-9 inches, topping the previous record of 15-8 held by Macauley Spandl of Moorhead.

  • As stadium lights took over for natural light one week ago, Lakeville South senior pole vaulter Lee Bares broke the Minnesota state record by clearing 15 feet, 9 inches at the Class 3A, Section 1 meet at Lakeville North. Bares celebrated his feat (below), giving friends Grant Krieger and Mitch Valli a new mark to pursue.

  • (Left to right) Pole vaulters Mitch Valli of Buffalo, Grant Krieger of Blake and Lee Bares of Lakeville South got together for a recent photo shoot and a little practice at the Blake track. The trio have developed a friendship through their devotion to and skill in their event. “Part of it is that vaulters in general are crazy, outgoing people,” Krieger said.

  • Mitch Valli of Buffalo doesn’t have to go far for vaulting advice. His stepfather, Paul Herda, coached vaulters at St. John’s.

  • Grant Krieger of Blake has won the past two Class 1A pole vault titles. He previously got his adrenaline fix by racing Karts at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour.

  • Lee Bares of Lakeville South, the two-time defending Class 2A pole vault champion, now holds the state record at 15 feet, 9 inches.

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