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.
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.”
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