Maggie Vaults Over the Moon


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Storybook Maggie Celebrates 7 Years Over the Moon!

Vaulters celebrated with Maggie at the Gold Medal Pole Vault Camp in Andale, Kan., 2013. Youngsters who were teens when the book was published are in their 20s today.

GRAIN VALLEY, Kan. — A lot has happened in the world of pole-vaulting in the past seven years, and storybook heroine Maggie Steele has been there.

Published Oct. 12, 2013, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is a classic story in the pole-vault community.

Published October 12, 2012, the young adult novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon celebrates it’s 7th year today. The saga has become the gold-medal story of the sport, earning praise for it’s positive message for young teens, especially girls.

“It’s amazing to think that youngsters who were 13 when the book came out are 20 today!” said author Grant Overstake.

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has stood the test of time as a story that defines grit and perseverance, which is what this great sport is all about.”

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the magical story of Maggie Steele, a gritty Kansas farm girl who rebounds after tragedy and reaches new heights as a pole-vaulter. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “A fine young adult novel about perseverance in sports and in life.” The story also was voted the No. 1 Athlete Girl Book on Goodreads, and named national Book of the Week by Bookworks Publishers Weekly.

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Celebrating Maggie’s 30,000th Blog Visitor!

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Maggie says, “I’m over the moon celebrating 30,000 visitors to my blog! Many thanks to my great supporters and fans, including US Olympian and Coach of Champions, Erica Fraley [Bartolina]! It’s an honor to have my story recognized by awesome role models like Erica. Learn about Erica’s inspiring life story and the impact she’s having on young people here: http://tinyurl.com/pdk8392


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Garden City’s Western Express Vaulters Celebrate a Great Season with ‘Maggie Awards’

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The Western Express Track Club celebrates a great season with Maggie Awards. Bottom Row, Left to Right: Natasha Covarrubias (Incoming MS Vaulter); Reyna Juache (Incoming MS Vaulter); Brooklyn Staats (MS Vaulter); Jade Denton (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Hannah Schultz (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Crystal Juache (Future MS Vaulter); Allison Arana (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Kaitlin Smith (GCHS Vaulter); Taylor Linenberger (GCHS Vaulter); and Lourdis Covarrubias (GCHS Vaulter). Top Row, Left to Right: Jack Koehn (MS Vaulter); Stephen Dunlap (GCHS Manager); Dakota Brungardt (GCHS Vaulter); Brett Cady (GCCC Vaulter); Nick Juache (GCHS Vaulter); Austin Lubbers (GCHS Vaulter); Brian “Cookie” Rodriguez (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Gustavo “Guz-Man” Bustos (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); and Coach Marcus Summers.

Coach Marcus Summers invited a special visitor to make a surprise appearance at the Western Express Track Club’s farewell practice of the summer on Monday, July 29th, in Garden City, Kan.

Western Express Track Club Coach Marcus Summers inspired his vaulters with 'Maggie Awards.'

Coach Marcus Summers inspires his vaulters with Maggie Awards.

The special guest was none other than the world’s most inspiring storybook pole-vaulter, Maggie Steele, who made the trip from her farm near Grain Valley in Southeast Kansas, waaay out west, to a city where Buffaloes stampede down the runway.

Coach Summers ordered multiple copies of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon to present to club members as inspirational Maggie Awards. The young adult novel tells the story of Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who overcomes hardship and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter.

buffaloes_garden_city_boys_varsity_basketball_winter_12-13The story has been endorsed by Olympians, coaches, teachers, and others who identify with the book’s inspiring message for young people.

Author Grant Overstake says Maggie was happy to visit Garden City!

Freshman Gustavo “Guz-Man” Bustos is one of several talented Western Express vaulters with promising futures.

Freshman Gustavo “Guz-Man” Bustos is a talented Western Express vaulter with a promising future.

“Maggie has been cheering for Western Express vaulters at track meets and street vaults all over the state this summer,” he added. “She was happy to congratulate the Buffalo vaulters and inspire them with her story.”

The hard-charging Buffalo is a fitting mascot for a herd of bold 11- to 18-year-olds who comprise one of the most successful vault clubs on the Kansas prairie. The new club has already made its mark, producing middle school league champs, high school state qualifiers and medalists, and college vaulters. Continue reading


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Florida Beach Vault Champs Soar With Maggie Awards!

More than 70 vaulters enjoyed the second annual Florida Beach Vault. (Photos by )

Vaulters soared at the Florida Beach Vault. (Photo by Jeff Adams)

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. — Maggie Steele, the gutsy farm girl pole-vaulter from Grain Valley, Kansas, was the storybook guest of honor here Saturday, July 20th, as copies of her inspirational sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon were presented to the high-flying female champions of Florida Beach Vault 2013.

Beach Vault Logo 2013

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“It was a weekend of firsts for Maggie,” said author Grant Overstake.

“It was her first-ever airplane ride, and her first time seeing the ocean! She loved every minute of it, especially since the purpose of her visit was for such an important cause, which is pole-vault safety.”

The Beach Vault, sponsored by the Florida Pole Vault Academy, attracted more than 70 vaulters who had a spectacular view of the ocean as they cleared the ever-rising crossbar. Event organizer Bob Leidel was delighted to be able to present Maggie Awards to the female champions. Continue reading


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Maggie Soars Past 10,000 Visitors! Grandma says, ‘Let’s Have Pie!’

Maggie welcomed her 10,000th visitor on Sunday. Grandma said, “Let’s have pie!”

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!”

Maggie Vaults Over the MoonWith the 10,000th visitor due any second, the big question was, From where on earth would the 10,000th visitor arrive? 

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.

10000_Worldwide“It was awesome to see that 10 followed by so many zeroes,” Maggie said. “It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come since, well, you know.”

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


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Maggie Packs Flip-Flops, Sunscreen for Florida Beach Vault 2013!

Maggie has been invited to the 2nd Annual Florida Beach Vault to be held Saturday, July 20th, at Clearwater Beach. (Photo by Jeff Adams)

Florida Beach Vault 2013 is July 20th at Clearwater Beach, Fla. (Photos by Jeff Adams)

Maggie Steele is packing her flip-flops and sunscreen for a pole-vaulter’s dream vacation!

The gutsy farm girl from Grain Valley, Kansas, has been invited to share the awards stand at Florida Beach Vault 2013, Saturday July 20th, at one of the most beautiful places in the world — Clearwater Beach!

(Photo by Jeff Adams)

Last year’s Florida Beach Vault attracted more than 80 vaulters and more are expected this year, including the most inspirational storybook pole-vaulter in the nation, if not the entire world.

A copy of the inspirational sports novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon will be awarded to the top female finishers at the second annual event, sponsored by the Florida Pole Vault Academy. The book’s author, Grant Overstake, a former Miami Herald Sports Writer, would love to be there in person, but Maggie will be making the 1,270-mile trip by herself.

Beach Vault Logo 2013

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PR City! Gold Medal Campers Win Maggie Awards

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Gold Medal Camp Maggie Winners

Maggie Award Winners at the Gold Medal Pole Vault Camp at Andale (Kan.) High School, front row from left, Hayden Bugner, Andale; Jewel Eck, Andale; Hanna Buller, Goddard; Samantha Horsch, Andale; Jaden Eck, Andale; Braden Meyer, Andale; Haley Heimerman, Andale; Jared Harmony, Hesston. Coaches on back row, Zach Curtis, Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel; Travis Ford, Goddard Eisenhower; Dylan Schmidt, Andale. Not pictured, Camp Director Mark Schmidt and Coach Mark Smith.

ANDALE, Kan. — For three days this past week, this vault-crazy town in the wheat fields of South Central Kansas became… PR City!

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Samantha Horsch, Andale, eyes a new PR!

Vaulter after vaulter soared to Personal Records at the 11th Annual Gold Medal Pole Vault Camp, held June 27-29 at Andale High School.

The Andale City Council should have issued a Proclamation to change the name of their spiffy little town for a few days. But before they could muster a quorum, 32 enthusiastic young vaulters took to the runways and changed it themselves.

As a reward for their highest and best efforts, vaulters who set PRs in the camp’s final competition received copies of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, the inspirational novel by Grant Overstake, which tells the story of the Sunflower State’s high-flying fictional pole vaulter, Maggie Steele.

Vaulting into a strong headwind, gutsy Jaden Eck, Andale, earned a ‘Maggie Award!”

“The Gold Medal Camp was held in an absolutely perfect setting for Kansas pole vaulting, right next to a newly harvested wheat field,” said Overstake, who shot photos and presented the “Maggie Awards” at the camp’s closing ceremony. Continue reading


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‘Maggie’ Celebrates Texas River Vault Champions!

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Texas River Vault Championship winners from left, Kendall Shaw, Lauren Garcia, and Britton Chapman.

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Maggie Steele cheered herself hoarse Saturday, June 15th, at one of the biggest pole-vault festivals in the nation, the Texas River Vault Championship!

“It was one of the greatest things that ever happened to her,” said author Grant Overstake. “The whole experience was simply awesome.”

They say everything’s bigger in Texas and this event was no exception.  TexasRiverStreetVaultlogoThe USA Track and Field Sanctioned Event featured four vault runways! There were exactly 300 participants, and 301 if you count one fictional vaulter from Grain Valley, Kan.

A copy of Overstake’s inspirational sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon was presented to champions in each female division. In addition, a special “Maggie Award” was presented to Adolph Hoffman of Summersett, Texas, who jumped a new Age 90 World Record of 6-0 at the event! (See Full Results Here)

The invitation to Come on down! to the Texas River Championships came from Jon Johnson, President of the event and a coach of one the nation’s premier clubs, Lone Star Pole Vaulting. He says awarding copies of Maggie will inspire the female vaulters to continue on their own quests, over the moon.

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Come on Down! Maggie Travels to Texas River Vault Championship!

‘Maggie’ will be presented to the top female pole-vaulters at the Texas River Vault Championships in San Marcos Texas.

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.

Held alongside the beautiful San Marcos River on the campus of Texas State University–San Marcos, some 280 athletes will compete from early morning until the stars shine big and bright for the title of “Texas River Vault Champion.”

The beautiful San Marcos River is the setting for the Texas River Vault Championship.

“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.” Continue reading


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‘Maggie’ Inspires Olympian Erica Bartolina’s Vaulters to Soar Over the Moon!

Vaulters from Bartolina Athletics participated in the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.

Vaulters from Bartolina Athletics participated in the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada.

NEW UPDATE ON THIS STORY FROM ERICA (10/16/14):I’ve had great success in the last year as well! Devin King broke the national indoor record, got 4th at world juniors, and cleared 18 ft twice as a high school kid. Two of my high school junior boys jumped over 16 ft, and Madison jumped 13’3″. And, I got married! What a fun year!”

UPDATE (6/27/13): Congrats to former Olympian Erica Bartolina for being selected to coach Team USA vaulters at the World Youth Championships in Ukraine! Erica is one of the sport’s most inspirational athletes and best coaches. Her own vaulter, Devin King, will lead the squad as the US World Youth Trials champion.

If you’re ever fortunate enough to travel waaay down to southeast Louisiana, deep into Cajun Country, you’ll find one of the most beautiful places on the entire planet to pole vault.

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Olympian and Coach Erica Fraley [Bartolina] ‘connected’ with heroine Maggie Steele.

Nestled under mossy trees east of Baton Rouge lies the awesome training facility of Bartolina Athletics. Here boys and girls of all ages and abilities can be found on the runway, day and night, launching themselves to greater and greater heights.

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Bartolina vaulters can be found on the runway, day and night.

The vaulters at Bartolina Athletics are taking the same flight path as their coach, Erica Fraley [Bartolina], who competed for the USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Her love and knowledge of the event motivates them to achieve their goals and learn positive life lessons along the way.

And, her athletes are also following the same trajectory as the fictional heroine Maggie Steele in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

The new teen sports novel by Grant Overstake has been widely endorsed by pole-vaulters for its realistic depiction of the world’s greatest sport; and by others who identify with the heroine’s courageous struggle. Kirkus Reviews calls Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, “A fine novel about perseverance in sports and in life.”

CourtneyBartolinaAthletics

Bartolina’s Courtney Munkres loves ‘Maggie’

Along with sharing her own remarkable story, Coach Bartolina recently used the book’s heroine to help inspire her vaulters. Both Bartolina, in real life, and Steele, as a fictional character, overcame great adversity as they vaulted themselves over the moon. Continue reading