Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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Celebrating Maggie’s 30,000th Blog Visitor!


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:

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Maggie Soars to Sunny California for Valley Vaulters Halloween Vault

'Maggie' will share the sun-drenched awards stand with costumed vaulters like these at the Valley Vaulters Halloween Vault Saturday, Oct. 26th in beautiful Murrieta, Calif. (Hey! Where's Waldo?)

‘Maggie’ will share the awards stand with superheroes at the Valley Vaulters Halloween Vault Saturday, Oct. 26th in Murrieta, Calif. (Hey! Where’s Waldo?)

Storybook heroine Maggie Steele is winging her way West for the fourth annual Valley Vaulters Halloween Vault this weekend in beautiful Murrieta, California.

The event, sponsored by the Valley Vaulters pole-vault club will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26th at Murrieta Valley High School.

Maggie is eager to join the Valley Vaulters Halloween Vault on Saturday, Oct. 26th in sunny Murrieta, California.

Look for spooky characters at the Valley Vaulters Halloween Vault Saturday.

It promises to be an awesome experience for Maggie, who’ll share the sun-drenched awards stand with some of the Golden State’s most talented young athletes.

Copies of the inspiring novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon will be presented to the top finishers in the fun-filled event. Continue reading

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Olympic Torch-Bearer Inspired by ‘Maggie’

John Mayor is one of Great Britain's greatest and most treasured athletes.

John Mayor is one of Great Britain’s greatest and most treasured athletes.

A champion who carried the Olympic flame now carries a torch for Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

John Mayor — a 33-time British champion in masters athletics (track and field) — says, “I thought Maggie was a fantastic book; well put together and very inspirational!”

John Mayor is a 33-time British national masters athletics champion.

John Mayor is a 33-time athletics champion.

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon tells the story of a Kansas farm girl who overcomes tragedy and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter. The novel has been endorsed by US Olympic pole vaulters, coaches, school counselors, and now, by an Olympic Torch-Bearer, who’s spreading the word about the novel’s inspiring message for young people.

“It’s a great book!” Mayor said, adding, “I’ve passed it on to a pole-vault coach at my club and she will recommend it to all the people in her group.”

As a former world pentathlon champion, Mayor has run about a zillion meters in his career. But none were more memorable than the 300-meter relay leg he ran with the Olympic torch last summer through King George Park in his hometown of Stevenage, about 30 miles north of London. Continue reading

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‘Maggie’ Fans Flock to Book Signing and Reading at Watermark Books

Author Grant Overstake reads from 'Maggie Vaults Over the Moon' April 11th, 2013, at Watermark Books in Wichita. (Photo by Carl Williams)

Author Grant Overstake reads from ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’ April 11th, 2013, at Watermark Books in Wichita. (Photo by Carl Williams)

An overflow crowd of nearly 70 Maggie Steele fans gathered at Watermark Books & Cafe Thursday night, April 11th, to hear Grant Overstake read from his new sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.

Author Grant Overstake reads from 'Maggie Vaults Over the Moon'. (Photo by Carl Williams)

Author Grant Overstake reads from ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’. (Photo by Carl Williams)

It was an overwhelming show of support for the gutsy teen from Grain Valley, Kansas, whose compelling story of courage and triumph is capturing the hearts of readers young and old.

“Words can’t express how great it was to see so many people at this event,” said Overstake, a Wichita native. “I saw some people I hadn’t seen since third grade and met many new friends. To experience a reading and book signing event at Watermark was one of the highlights of my life. To see them putting out more chairs to seat all the people, well, it was just awesome.” 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.


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.


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.”


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

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New Study: Teen Mental Health Improved by Exercise, Sports

Many grown-ups know firsthand that physical exercise can help overcome the angst of adult life. Now a new study suggest that physical activity, especially competitive sports, can be even more helpful for teens.

You might have heard the segment on today’s Morning Edition entitled, “Why Exercise May Do A  Teenage Mind Good,” touting nprlogo_138x46the value of daily physical activity for adolescents’ mental health.

HighResFrontCoverIn the report, Yale University child psychologist Alan Kazdin, the editor of Clinical Psychological Science, says the findings show just how bountiful the benefits of exercise can be.

“I think it would be too strong to call it an elixir, but it has the broad effects of something like that,” he says.

Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is a new novel that retells the story of Maggie Steele, a farm girl from tiny Grain Valley, Kansas, who suffers a major tragedy in her life. Written by Grant Overstake, the story chronicles Maggie’s difficult rise to a brighter future through pole-vaulting, a very demanding form of exercise. Continue reading

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A Video Tribute to Pole-Vaulting (The Passion of Maggie Steele)

To honor passion that propels heroine Maggie Steele, we’re delighted to share a video tribute to pole-vaulting, featuring brave and daring athletes who strive to go waaay higher than ever before. The video includes great comments by Olympian Becky Holliday (a big fan of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon), an age-group world record by the ageless Doc Bell, and several prodigious leaps by other vaulters, young and old. This clip is certain to inspire you to grab your vaulting pole and sprint down the runway.

We’ll see you, over the moon!

From MV Rocket (Moon Valley Pole Vault)

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Three-time Olympian Earl Bell is ‘Coaching Voice’ in “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon.”

While visiting an Asian rainforest, former world-record holder and Olympic great Earl Bell tries a real bamboo vaulting pole, just like Maggie Steele’s. Photo by Mark Breault, Tailwind Pole Vaulting Club

The “coaching voice” in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon comes from the legendary Earl Bell, one of the greatest pole-vaulters and pole vault coaches in the world. Earl is a former world record–holding pole-vaulter, who won the bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He is the current coach to a number of the nation’s top men and women vaulters. At his last Olympic appearance, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Earl finished fourth. He set the world pole-vaulting record of 5.67 meters (18‘ 7 1/4”) on May 29, 1976, at the USA Track & Field (USATF) National Track and Field Championships at Cessna Stadium in Wichita, Kansas. The author, working as a volunteer helper at the event, Continue reading

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U.S. Olympian Jeremy Scott Endorses “Maggie Vaults Over the Moon”

“Every single person should be able to relate to Maggie in Maggie Vaults Over the Moon. We have all experienced loss, heartache or tragedy, but not all find a way to overcome. It doesn’t matter if you are a pole vaulter, male or female; it’s about finding something in which you are passionate and not giving up. Maggie does just that—she finds her passion and it ends up taking her over the moon.” –Jeremy Scott, USA Olympic Trials Silver Medalist and Team USA Pole Vaulter at the 2012 London Olympic Games

About Jeremy Scott
Believed to be the tallest world class pole vaulter in history, Scott stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall. His breakthrough 2009 season got off to a great start with his win at the USA Indoor Championships in Boston, and he broke the 19-foot barrier for the first time in his career with his winning clearance June 14 in Jonesboro, Ark., when he cleared 5.82m/19-1.25. A letter-winner in three sports in high school (football, basketball and track) Scott enrolled at Allegheny College to play football. After a broken foot as a sophomore caused Scott to focus more on pole vaulting, he decided to enroll at one of National Track & Field Hall of Famer Earl Bell’s pole vault camps in the summer of 2001, and the improvement was immediate. Continue reading