Didya hear the BIG news? Maggie is headed to Texas!
The gutsy farm girl from Grain Valley, Kan., will be ridin’ high atop the awards stand Saturday, June 15th, at the Texas River Vault Championship.
As many as 300 vaulters are expected to compete in one of the biggest pole-vault festivals in the nation — an event so Texas-sized that it includes seven categories just for female vaulters!
A copy of the inspirational sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon will be presented the top female finishers.
“Of all the great things that have happened to Maggie, this is one of the best so far,” said author Grant Overstake. “She’s humbled and honored and a little bit nervous about a trip down to Texas, because, as they say, San Marcos is a fur piece from Grain Valley.”
The invitation to Come on down! came from Jon Johnson, President of the Texas River Vault Championship and a coach of one the nation’s premier clubs, Lone Star Pole Vaulting.
Awarding copies of Maggie will inspire the female vaulters to their highest and best efforts, he says.
“Maggie demonstrates the power of perseverance; an idea we wish to instill in our competitors at the Texas River Vault Championships,” Johnson said, adding, “We know that her story will inspire our competitors to succeed and achieve the same level of greatness.”
Maggie Vaults Over the Moon tells the story of a fictional farm girl who overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter. The novel has been endorsed by several US Olympic vaulters, including Becky Holliday and Erica Bartolina; the top female sports writer in the nation, Christine Brennan, at USA Today; and by others who identify with the heroine’s courageous struggle.
Midwest Book Review says,“Maggie is an inspirational pick for young adult fiction collections.” Kirkus Reviews calls Maggie, “A fine novel about perseverance in sports and in life.” And, this past month, the book appeared on the cover of The Kansas State High School Activities Journal.
The Texas River Vault has grown like a tumbleweed over the past 13 years. It started back in 2000, when Don D. Hood, son of legendary Abilene Christian University pole vault coach Don Hood, Sr., was the Head Track and Field Coach at Southwest Texas State University. At that time, Girls’ Pole Vault was not a sanctioned high school event in Texas. But Hood knew there were dozens of girls in the state that had been vaulting in unsanctioned competitions and practices, and that they wanted their very own championship event.
Coach Hood hosted the inaugural “Texas Girls High School Pole Vault Championship” at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos. About 15-20 girls competed at the first event, planting the seed for an event that has become a festival for vaulters of any age, gender, or ability level.
They say everything’s bigger in Texas and this event is no exception. Johnson has partnered with former meet director and coach Kris Allison to put on what will be the biggest Texas River Vault ever. The USA Track and Field Sanctioned Event, featuring no less than four landing pits, as many as 300 participants, and one fictional character from Grain Valley, Kan.
Overstake says Maggie is eager to appear on the awards stand at an event known as The Meet You Don’t Wanna Miss.
“It’s one of those totally cool coincidences that Maggie’s path to pole-vaulting is similar to those Texas girls who pioneered the sport down there,” Overstake said. “In the story, Maggie has to overcome gender bias and discrimination to pursue her passion for pole-vaulting. It’s wonderful to see how far the sport has come since this event began. Today it’s one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports for girls in the nation.”
Dressing like a Texas attire won’t be a problem for Maggie because her closet is filled with western-style outfits. But talking like a Texan will be a tad more difficult. She’s been boning up on her Texas phraseology, but she needn’t worry — Everybody knows she has more guts than you can hang on a fence. (Texas talk for She’s not afraid of anything.)
Asked if she had a greeting for the vaulters who’ll be competing for a copy of her book, Maggie paused to get the words just right…
“Well, of course I’m not a GRIT (a Girl Raised In Texas), but I want to say that I’m lookin’ forward to seeing all y’all down there,” Maggie said, laughing at herself, before asking, “I got that right, right?”
Pre-registration for the Texas River Vault continues through June 14th ($45) or until the roster is filled with 280 participants. Entries will be accepted on the day of the event ($50). Maggie looks forward to sitting by the glistening San Marcos River, from morning ’till night, watching the vaulters fly.
About Lone Star PV:
Lone Star PV, LLC, doing business as Olympic Quest, is a pole vaulting club in New Braunfels, Texas housed in a 7000 square foot gym on the property of Head Coach Kris Allison. Founded in 2001, LSPV services over 200 vaulters each year via group lessons, private lessons, instructional clinics, competitions, and camps. Its membership fluctuates throughout the competitive year, however monthly membership in the “club” ranges between 20-50 members annually. Lone Star has produced 14 State High School Champions, 10 Junior Olympic champions, and countless other medalists at every level of competition.
Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is an inspiring read for fourth graders to adults. From now through August, the author will make a donation to the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) Sports Hall of Fame for each copy sold at the Watermark store, located at Douglas and Oliver in Wichita, or via the Watermark website.