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.
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. Continue reading
GRAIN VALLEY, Kan. — Grandma just knew that the 10,000th visitor to Maggie’s blog would appear sometime Sunday evening, so she baked one of her blue-ribbon rhubarb pies, and then she shoo-shooed Maggie and Troy away from the dinner table without dessert, until company arrived.
“The visitor counter climbed steadily from 9,950 to 9,999,” Maggie said, recalling the moment. “But then, it just froze there, not moving! It was at 9,999 forever!”
Just as the clock struck seven on Sunday, July 21st, 2013, the answer came — the visitor was from, wait for it… Columbia, Missouri!
“Well isn’t that wonderful?” Grandma said, smiling sweetly. “Let’s have pie!”
Maggie and Troy and everybody else here in Grain Valley had a good laugh. It’s a knee-slapper because Kansans and Missourians have been big rivals since, like forever. Especially in sports. But not in pole-vaulting, because everybody knows that everyone who pole-vaults wants the highest and best for each other, no matter where they come from. It’s in the code.
Maggie Vaults Over the Moon tells the story of Maggie Steele, a gutsy Kansas farm girl who overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter. The novel has been endorsed by US Olympic vaulters, coaches, and teachers who identify with its inspiring message for young people, and, most importantly, by young people themselves.
Since the novel was published in October 2012, Maggie has inspired readers all over the world. Continue reading
Congrats to Maggie’s pole-vaulting friends Caitlin Hawk (10-8) and Nick Meyer (16-2) of Bishop Carroll HS for soaring to gold medals at the Wichita City League Meet!
The high-flying Golden Eagles, coached by Denis Fraizer, are big fans of the teen novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, which captures the excitement of the world’s greatest sport.
Maggie says, “Way to go Caitlin and Nick! And best wishes to all Kansas HS pole-vaulters in the next few weeks. Knowing the Highest and Best for you at Regionals and State!” Continue reading
Writing is often thought of as a lonely vigil, but Grant Overstake, author of Maggie Vaults over the Moon, found this not to be true. In this Keyhole Conversations interview, he acknowledges those people who helped him along the way.The interview was conducted at The Inn at Glenstrae, a beautiful bed and breakfast located in the Sleepy Hollow section of Wichita. Click here to watch Bonnie Myrick’s interview at Keyhole Conversations.
If you feel yourself taking flight with heroine Maggie Steele as she pole-vaults over the moon, don’t be surprised.
Many readers of the new teen novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon have actually felt the physical sensation of vaulting higher and higher — and a new study explains why.
According to the article, “Your Brain on Fiction”, something amazing happens to our brain when we simply read about fictional characters doing exciting and dramatic things. Our brain responds like we’re really doing those things ourselves. The study shows that when Maggie takes flight, readers do, too.
Writing for The New York Times, Annie Murphy Paul reports that, while many people today are fixated with digital devices and spending most of their free time on Facebook or Twitter, new evidence shows we could all benefit from putting away our smart phones and reading good fiction.
According to the story, scientists have come to realize that, to the brain, a fictional account can seem even more real than the real world: Continue reading
WICHITA, Kan. — A former rural newspaper editor and sports writer has drawn upon his coverage of sporting events and country life to create a new teen sports novel, which is harvesting praise for its realistic view of life on a Kansas family farm.
Author Grant Overstake says his years spent as a journalist embedded in Kansas wheat country helped him create a vivid setting for the story, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, in which a high school senior named Maggie Steele struggles with the same difficult decision faced by many of today’s rural teens — pursue the life of her dreams or stay home to save the multigenerational family farm.
“As the only surviving child, Maggie has many factors to consider about a possible future on the farm,” Overstake said. “Of course, readers will have to read the story to follow her journey of self-discovery, and to see which path she chooses to take.”
As editor of the Hillsboro Star-Journal, Overstake was a two-time winner of the Kansas Farm Bureau’s Golden Wheat Award for excellence in agriculture writing. The author places his story near the fictional town of Grain Valley, Kan., which, in real life, could be anyplace where sports still matter and the grain elevator is the busiest place in town, especially at harvest time.
The new book, released in mid-October, has already earned several five-star reviews from readers on Amazon.com, including one that reads, “Getting to know Maggie Steele, her family, and the whole warm and caring community of Grain Valley was a pure delight…” Continue reading