Maggie Vaults Over the Moon


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Canadian and American Junior Champions Find Friendship ‘Over the Moon’

U.S. National Junior Olympics Champion, Makayla Linebarger, of Reno, Nev., left, and Canadian National Champion, Kassandra Hordel, of Edmonton, Alberta, were both inspired in their quests by reading 'Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.'

U.S. Junior Olympics Champion, Makayla Linebarger, of Reno, Nev., left, and Canadian Junior Champion, Kassandra Hordal, of Edmonton, Alberta, became best of friends this summer.

Teenage pole-vaulting sensations Kassandra (Kassy) Hordal, of Edmonton, Alberta, and Makayla Linebarger, of Reno, Nev., launched themselves into the record books in their respective countries this summer. In the process, Canada’s best and America’s best became best of friends.

Only 13 years-old, Kassandra Hordal is Canada's top vaulter in the Under 16 division, and ranked among the top 50 woman vaulters in the nation.

Only 13 years-old, Kassy Hordal is Canada’s top Under 16 pole-vaulter and record holder, and she ranks among the 50 best women vaulters in Canada.

Kassy, 13, won the Legions Nationals and set the U16 Canadian record with a vault of 3.3 meters (10-8).

Makayla, 14, won the US Junior Olympic Championship and set the U14 American record at 12 feet 31/2 inches (3.75 m).

Both say they were inspired to go higher and higher by their favorite novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Makayla is a huge Maggie fan, featured inside the book’s front cover of as the story’s No. 1 youth endorser: “Maggie’ is an amazing book with a great message,” she says. “It made me feel like I could accomplish anything!”

Hordal is waaay too active to sit still for just any book, with one exception. She read the 222-page novel in just two days.

“Maggie is a real trooper!’ Kassy said. “She taught me that anything is possible and made me feel that I could jump higher. She also taught me that you just have to keep going sometimes, even if it is hard.”

Here she is! Makayla Linebarger, your new USATF Junior Olympic Champion and US Record Holder!

Makayla Linebarger, 14, is the U.S. Junior Olympic Champion and US Record Holder (U14).

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.

Written by Grant Overstake, the novel has been endorsed by US Olympic vaulters and others around the world who identify with the book’s inspiring message for young people, including many inspiring youngsters themselves.

Kassy was an elite gymnast up until two years ago, winning numerous competitions in Canada. But she started not to have fun anymore, so she decided to quit. Her mom, Sheila, suggested pole-vaulting.

The rest of her amazing story is being written in the Canadian record books, and featured on a national TV show in her country. 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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New National Record Holder Makayla Linebarger Follows ‘Maggie’ Over the Moon

Following the same astronomical trajectory as her favorite fictional athlete, Maggie Steele, teenage pole-vaulter Makayla Linebarger has launched herself over the moon and into the record books.

Makayla, 13, is now the No. 1 Under-14 girl pole-vaulter in the nation!

Mile Split.US Idaho reports that Linebarger, an eighth grader from Mendive Middle School in Sparks, Nev., tied the  national USTAF record in the 13-14 year-old division on Dec. 1, 2012, with a 3.70 vault (12’ 1½”) at the Jackson Open Indoor Meet in Boise, Idaho, equaling a record dating back to 1998. The Sparks Tribune reports that Linebarger is now aiming for the age-group world record of 12-feet 11.5-inches.

National record holder Makayla Linebarger, 13, is a huge fan of “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.”   Sparks Tribune photo by John Byrne.

We were delighted to learn that Makayla is a huge fan of Maggie Steele, the high-flying heroine in Grant Overstake’s inspiring new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is an amazing book with a great message,” Makayla says. “It made me feel like I could accomplish anything through hard work, with many supporters, and great coaching.” Continue reading