Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

Maggie Celebrates 1st Anniversary with Olympic Greats and Future Greats at Doctoberfest 2013!

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Bell Athletics’ Kayla Caldwell won the female division of Doctoberfest 2013.

JAMESTOWN, Kan. — Storybook pole-vaulter Maggie Steele celebrated her first anniversary in the company of a former world-record holder, Olympians, and Olympic hopefuls at Doctoberfest 2013 on Saturday, Oct. 5th.

The eighth annual event at the Tailwind Pole Vault Club featured many high-flying professional, collegiate, and high school athletes who rocketed toward the rafters in this converted basketball gym, which now is considered a kind of Field of Dreams for pole-vaulting here in the northernmost part of the central Kansas prairie.

(Click here to view all Doctoberfest 2013 photos).

Masters elite vaulter and Fuzion Athletics founder Jamie Steffen of Louisville, Ky. at Doctoberfest 2013.

Masters vaulter and Fuzion Athletics founder Jamie Steffen at Doctoberfest 2013.

Doctoberfest was an opportunity for Tailwind Pole Vault Club members to watch, dream, and  soar.

Doctoberfest was an opportunity for Tailwind members to watch, dream, and soar.

Among nearly 60 athletes who charged down the rubberized runway Saturday, the biggest thrills were provided by the youngest vaulters, future greats such as Kendall Reynolds and Zoe Bechard, a pair of 10-year-olds from nearby Concordia, Kan., who reminded everyone in attendance that having lots of fun is what vaulting at Tailwind is all about.

'Maggie' is endorsed by the Kansas High School Activities Association.

‘Maggie’ is endorsed by the Kansas High School Activities Association.

The annual Doctoberfest event coincided with the first anniversary of the publishing of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, the young adult novel by Grant Overstake in which a gutsy Kansas farm girl, Maggie Steele, overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter.

Maggie has been endorsed by Olympic athletes, coaches, and the Kansas State High School Activities Association for its positive message for young people. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “A fine young adult novel about perseverance in sports and in life.”

Future greats Kendall Reynolds, left, and Zoe Bechard, celebrate their PRs with Maggie and three-time Olympian Earl Bell.

Future greats Kendall Reynolds, left, and Zoe Bechard celebrate with Earl Bell.

Vaulters who soared to new personal records or gave inspiring performances on Saturday, such as Reynolds and Bechard, were awarded copies of the book.

“Watching those kids having such a blast and soaring to new heights was an inspiration for Maggie and me,” Overstake said. “It was an awesome day for youngsters, elites and masters vaulters as well. Everyone there knew we were watching something special.”

A new vaulter soars under the watchful eye of Tailwind Coach Doc Breault, who has coached more than 160 Kansas State qualifiers.

A new vaulter competes under the watchful eye of Coach Mark (Doc) Breault.

The inspiration for writing Maggie Vaults Over the Moon came to the author as he watched the same Doctoberfest event two years ago. The story is dedicated to the boys and girls of the Tailwind Pole Vault Club, who travel from all over Kansas and Nebraska to bring life and energy to Jamestown (Pop. 286).

Sam Bell soars to victory (16-8) at Doctoberfest 2013 held at the Tailwind Pole Vault Club.

Sam Bell, son of Earl Bell, won Doctoberfest 2013 at the Tailwind Pole Vault Club.

“It was a perfect day to enjoy the great sport of pole-vaulting and to celebrate the remarkable impact that Maggie has had in such a short time,” Overstake said. “It was great to be back at Tailwind and to be able to say thank-you to so many of the people who helped make Maggie Vaults Over the Moon into a reality.”

Putting on a street vault is an enormous task. So, too, is the behind-the-scenes work required to run a pole vault club with hundreds of participants. To honor the volunteers who’ve made a special contribution to the Tailwind Pole Vault Club this past year, Doc Breault presented “Das Boot Awards” to Luke Hood and Bernie James.

Doc Breault presents a "Golden Boot Award" to super volunteer Luke Hood.

Doc Breault presents a “Das Boot Award” to super volunteer Luke Hood.

Super volunteer Bernie James receives a "Golden Boot Award" from Doc Breault.

Super volunteer Bernie James receives a “Das Boot Award” from Doc Breault.

Three-time Olympian and former world record holder, Earl Bell was in attendance on Saturday. Bell has coached dozens of history’s greatest vaulters, including three members of the 2012 US Olympic team. One of those vaulters, Jeremy “El Grande” Scott, a 2012 Olympian, also was in attendance with his parents, Henry and Rosella, from Norfolk, Nebraska. Jeremy is one of several Olympians who’ve wholeheartedly endorsed Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Maggie's friend, Olympic pole-vaulter Jeremy Scott, and his parents attend the Doctoberfest Street Vault.

Olympian Jeremy Scott and his parents, Henry and Rosella, attended Doctoberfest.

Kayla Caldwell at Doctoberfest.

Kayla Caldwell at Doctoberfest.

Elite vaulters who train at the Bell Athletics facility in Jonesboro, Ark., competed at Doctoberfest, including Brian Mondschein, Jason Vogt, and the day’s top male vaulter, Sam Bell (16-8, short approach). The event’s top female vaulter was Olympic hopeful Kayla Caldwell (13-0, short approach) who also trains at Bell Athletics.

“What some people may not know is that in addition to coaching real-life champions, Earl Bell is the coaching voice who helps fictional Maggie Steele vault over the moon,” Overstake said. “Saturday was a great day to thank him for the hours he devoted to the story, and to look back at the great impact it has had in one year’s time. Fact is, Maggie  wouldn’t have been the same without Earl’s expertise and support.”

Celebrating the first anniversary of 'Maggie' are author Grant Overstake, center, with Mark (Doc) Breault, right, and Earl Bell.

Celebrating with Grant Overstake, center, are Mark (Doc) Breault and Earl Bell.

Also instrumental to the novel’s success is Tailwind founder and coach Dr. Mark (Doc) Breault, for whom the Doctoberfest Street Vault is named. Breault has coached more than 160 vaulters to the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championship meet in the past decade, helping them to learn the sport safely and participate with a great attitude.

Masters vaulter Jim Moller, 51, soars 13-2 at Doctoberfest.

Masters vaulter Jim Moller, 51, of Eagan, Minnesota, clears 13-1 at Doctoberfest.

Master's vaulter Jim Moller, 51, enjoys his Maggie Award after clearing 13-2. With Jamie Steffen, left, Mark Breault and Earl Bell.

Jim Moller enjoys his Maggie Award with Jamie Steffen, Mark Breault and Earl Bell.

Many other Maggie supporters were in attendance at Doctoberfest, including Coach Denis Frazier of Bishop Carroll High School, and vaulters, such as Mackenzie VanPelt of Beloit, Kansas; Nick Meyer (University of Kansas); Taylor Marie Swanson (Cloud County Community College), Katie Stoovy Howard, and Tabor College senior Kristen Harris.

Author Grant Overstake and his wife Claire, celebrate with Maggie fan Katie Stoovy Howard.

Grant Overstake and wife Claire celebrate with Maggie fan Katie Stoovy Howard.

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Tabor senior and future optometrist Kristen Harris takes a study break with her parents.

Kansas University freshman Nick Meyer enjoyed his visit to Tailwind Pole Vault Club, where he holds the building record of 16-2.

KU’s Nick Meyer enjoys a return to Tailwind, where he holds the H.S. record of 16-2.

Maggie also made some new friends on Saturday. Among them were members of Fuzion Athletics, Inc.  Traveling the farthest to attend the event in their cool Fuzion car were Jamie Steffen and Andrea Sabbitine, from Louisville, Ky.

Maggie's newest friends, Jamie Steffen and Andrea Sabbitine, traveled all the way from Kentucky in their Fuzion Athletics car to attend Doctoberfest 2013.

Jamie Steffen and Andrea Sabbitine traveled from Kentucky to Doctoberfest 2013.

Master’s vaulter Jim Moller, drove down from Eagan, Minn. Steffen created Fuzion Athletics in 2008 to help the vault community in Minnesota. Since then the club has grown from 10 kids to over 300 vaulters a week at its Minnesota branch. Its new indoor gym in Louisville will soon grow into a pole vault dynasty in Kentucky. Moller, 51, had perhaps the greatest performance of the Doctoberfest meet, soaring to a personal age group PR of 13-1!

Fuzion Athletics vaulter Andrea Sabbitine of Louisville, KY, at Doctoberfest 2013.

Fuzion Athletics vaulter Andrea Sabbitine competes at Doctoberfest 2013.

The Most Inspirational Maggie Award for the meet was presented to Sam Dreiling, 16, of Gorham, Kansas. Sam and his mom, Gin, attended the event without their father and husband, Mark, who almost never misses a chance to video his son’s pole-vaulting but currently is recovering from a serious automobile accident.

“The story I wrote about a fictional pole-vaulter with make-believe problems can’t compare to the real-life difficulties like the Dreiling’s are going through and others have gone through,” Overstake said. “At the same time, I know that Maggie has inspired many people over the past year, letting them know that whatever they might be going through, they can make it as well.”

Sam Dreiling receives the Most Inspirational Maggie Award from Doc Breault.

Sam Dreiling receives the Most Inspirational Maggie Award from Doc Breault.

Dedicated to the boys and girls of the Tailwind Pole Vault Club in Jamestown, Kan., this banner marks the creative birthplace of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

A banner hangs in the Tailwind Pole Vault Club in Jamestown, Kan., creative birthplace of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is available in paperback or eBook and can be purchased through Amazon.com in the United States, Canada, China, Japan, United KingdomGermany, SpainFrance, and Italy. Maggie also is available at Australia’s premier online bookseller, Angus & Robertson, and at hundreds of local independent US booksellers near you.

One thought on “Maggie Celebrates 1st Anniversary with Olympic Greats and Future Greats at Doctoberfest 2013!

  1. Maybe it was some Maggie magic (delivered by Grant Overstake) or maybe there was something in the air down there in Jamestown Kanas, but otherwise I can’t explain it. However, I can come up with a bunch of reasons why I should NOT have vaulted well at Doctoberfest, such as straining a groin muscle the Sunday before, and tweaking a hamstring during warm-up, only able to run from 10 steps (5 lefts), not having vaulted in over a month…etc., etc. Still it was an awesome weekend with a new post-40 PR (13’1”). Shout-out thanks to the entire crew from Bell Athletics Sam Bell, Kayla Caldwell, Brian Mondschein, Jason Vogt and, of course, Earl Bell). Doc Bro Mark Breault) you have an awesome vault facility ( Tailwind Pole Vault Club/Mark Breault), thanks for hosting. And I couldn’t have done it without my Fuzion coaches Drea Sabbatine and the illustrious Jamie Steffen.

    Jim Moeller

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