Maggie Vaults Over the Moon


Maggie Fan Kimbrook Tennal Inducted to Sports Hall of Fame

Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Kimbrook Tennal sits with his Centralia HS vaulters Breanna Schmitz and Dylan Boeckman at the 2018 state track meet in Wichita. Both finished as 1A state champions adding to his long list of gold medal winners. (Photo by Julie Perry Marysville Advocate)
Coach Kimbrook Tennal

TOPEKA, Kan. – One of Maggie Steele’s biggest fans and greatest-ever pole-vault coaches, Kimbrook Tennal of Centralia, has been named to the Class of 2020 Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Tennal, who retired this past summer, coached volleyball, basketball as well as track in his 43-year tenure at Nemaha Valley and Centralia High Schools.

Perhaps the biggest tribute ever written about the young adult sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon came from Coach Tennal, who wrote these words as a moonlighting sports columnist for the Centralia’s weekly newspaper, The Courier-Tribune:

“I loved the book and I wish I had written it,” Tennal wrote. “I consider that about as high a compliment on the book as I can make.”

“Maggie counts Coach Tennal as one of her all-time best supporters,” said author Grant Overstake. “His records as a coach speak for itself, and his success as a pole-vault coach is over the moon. His impact on the lives of the hundreds of young people he coached can’t be measured. Certainly, he is worthy of the state’s highest award.”

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‘Maggie’ Brings Back Golden Memories to Veteran Coach, Father of Champions


Coach Kimbrook Tennal shown coaching his vaulters at Centralia (Kan.) High.

The fictional town of Grain Valley, Kan., paints an authentic picture of Midwest farm towns and the people who live there; including down-to-earth, everyday-heroes like Kimbrook Tennal,  assistant track coach at Centralia High School, in Centralia, Kan., (Pop. 512).


Coach Kimbrook Tennal

Located in extreme northeast Kansas, Centralia is best known for producing NFL star John Riggins, who was born in Seneca and attended Centralia High. Riggins went on to play for the New York Jets and Washington Redskins, and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

Maggie Vaults Over the MoonCoach Tennal wrote the author to say Maggie brought back his own golden moments at Cessna Stadium, because he and his wife, Kim, are the parents of three Kansas track and field champions!

“I loved the book and I wish I had written it,” he wrote. “I consider that about as high a compliment on the book as I can make.” Continue reading