Maggie Vaults Over the Moon


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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’ 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.”

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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