Thursday, May 26, 2016

V. 1. #23. The First Girls Pole Vault Competition In Ohio

V. 1. #23. The First Girls Pole Vault Competition In Ohio

It was the spring of 1995. Pole vaulting for girls was not yet a regular event in Ohio. At that time only California sanctioned high school girls pole vaulting. Andy Wolf, long time coach at Anderson High School, is considered among the best and most innovative coaches in the state. Each spring his school hosts the Anderson Invitational. In 1995 he decided to include the pole vault for girls, even though it was not yet officially sanctioned by the state (it is now), as one of the events in his meet. And, he thought he had the right candidate for this endeavor. 

Her name was Allison Kline and she was a 17 year-old junior at Anderson High School. Allison’s athleticism was evident as she had qualified for the state gymnastics meet two years in a row and she was a cheerleader. Coach Wolf suggested to her that she attempt vaulting. It sounded interesting to her and even though her parents thought it was funny they knew she liked challenges and was willing to try most anything. 

On the team Allison participated in a variety of track and field events but she also had a secret weapon. Her boyfriend, senior Jake Andreadis, was the defending Division 1 pole vault champion. Jake had already vaulted 15'0" himself. With Allison willing to give it a try and Jake there to help her, she had only a few weeks to prepare for this first-time contest. 

The night of the meet arrived. Fourteen young ladies were out to win on this historic occasion. The bar was initially set at 6'0". Most of the girls failed to successfully make it over, but Allison and a few others cleared it. 

Dave Moore was the official at that meet.  He knew that some of those girls only had a day or two of practice.  They looked very bad, but they (or their coaches) wanted to be part of this inaugural happening.  However, it was evident that the top five or six girls had someone helping them with their preparation.

At 6'6" only she and two others sailed over the height. Now it was raised to 7'0". Allison had topped that measurement in practice, but could she do it under pressure in actual competition?

All three girls failed to clear the bar during their allotted three tries. Since a triple tie for first existed, extra attempts were allowed in order to determine a single winner. Allison went skyward and, as she reached the apex of her journey, she left space between her body and the bar. The other two competitors missed and that is how Allison Kline, a junior at Anderson High School, came to make history in the spring of 1995, by being crowned the first high school female in Ohio to win a girls only pole vault competition. 

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