Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

Pssst: Maggie’s ‘Secret’ Pole-Vault Coach Really Wasn’t ‘Track and Field for Boys’

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While heroine Maggie Steele soars to great heights in the novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, she must keep the source of her pole-vaulting wisdom a secret from everyone. Instead, she lets people assume that her pole-vaulting knowledge comes from an old book she found on her brother’s bookshelf, Track and Field for Boys by Payton Jordon.  (To discover who Maggie’s coach really is, you’ll have to read her story!)

Track and Field for Boys (out-of-print) was published in 1960 by Follett Publishing Co., Chicago, and is completely oblivious to its gender bias (There was never a Track and Field for Girls that we know of). But  its pages are filled with vintage tips and old-time words of wisdom from Jordan, who was in fact one of the truly great track and field coaches ever.

The book’s instructions on how to pole vault, however, are definitely from another place and time. In fact, the instructions are so out of date, we do NOT recommend that you try to learn to pole-vault by using this book!

Using “Track and Field for Boys” as his instruction manual, author Grant Overstake taught himself to pole-vault in his back yard with a bamboo pole. He made the standards himself, the plant box was a hole in the ground,and the landing pad was a piece of old carpet. Do NOT try this at home! Instead, you should learn to vault correctly and safely at school or one of the many fine pole-vault camps across the nation.

If you want to learn how to pole-vault (And we hope you do!) you should tell your track coach at school or get lessons at a pole-vaulting club near you, from coaches such as Mark Breault at the Tailwind Pole Vaulting Club in Jamestown, Kan., Denis Fraizer at Lakeside Leapers in Wichita, Kan., or Earl Bell at Bell Athletics in Jonesboro, Ark., where you can use the right kind of poles and landing pits to help you soar (safely) over the moon!

Here’s a list of some other pole-vault clubs and camps around the nation.

Please add the link to your camp or club in the comment section!


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