Maggie Vaults Over the Moon


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Maggie Fan Kimbrook Tennal Inducted to Sports Hall of Fame

Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Kimbrook Tennal sits with his Centralia HS vaulters Breanna Schmitz and Dylan Boeckman at the 2018 state track meet in Wichita. Both finished as 1A state champions adding to his long list of gold medal winners. (Photo by Julie Perry Marysville Advocate)
CoachTennal
Coach Kimbrook Tennal

TOPEKA, Kan. – One of Maggie Steele’s biggest fans and greatest-ever pole-vault coaches, Kimbrook Tennal of Centralia, has been named to the Class of 2020 Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

Tennal, who retired this past summer, coached volleyball, basketball as well as track in his 43-year tenure at Nemaha Valley and Centralia High Schools.

Perhaps the biggest tribute ever written about the young adult sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon came from Coach Tennal, who wrote these words as a moonlighting sports columnist for the Centralia’s weekly newspaper, The Courier-Tribune:

“I loved the book and I wish I had written it,” Tennal wrote. “I consider that about as high a compliment on the book as I can make.”

“Maggie counts Coach Tennal as one of her all-time best supporters,” said author Grant Overstake. “His records as a coach speak for itself, and his success as a pole-vault coach is over the moon. His impact on the lives of the hundreds of young people he coached can’t be measured. Certainly, he is worthy of the state’s highest award.”

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Best Story Ever? Check it out!

Pole vault guru Shawn Francis reviews Maggie Vaults Over the Moon on his Team Hoot vlog. “This is an amazing book for anyone. I burned through it in one sitting.”

A true guru in the world of pole vaulting, Shawn Francis says the YA novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon might be the sport’s best novel.

“To be 100% honest,” Shawn confessed, “I don’t usually like fiction books, but this book has so much truth in it, not just from pole-vault, but from growing up being a high schooler. I burned through it in one sitting!”

Francis recently reviewed the novel on his popular Team Hoot video blog (vlog).

As a former world-class vaulter, Shawn knows a ton  about the sport and cares deeply about the young people he works with at his Team Hoot instructional camps around the nation, especially those who struggle with the emotional ups and downs of adolescence.

Shawn’s trademark slogan is, “Life is meant to be experienced and curiosity will get you there.” No wonder he’s cheering for Maggie Steele, the novel’s gritty heroine. The grief-stricken high school farm girl finds healing and rises to new heights through pole-vaulting, one of the most daring sports of all.

“I don’t want to ruin it for you, but if you’re a pole vaulter or you’ve been involved in the sport at all, or any sport in general, or if you just found music or something else, this book is about finding something that helps you navigate through life and gives you some purpose and some meaning and just helps you grow into who you are.”

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