Maggie Vaults Over the Moon

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‘Maggie’ Author Grant Overstake Pens New YA Novel, ‘The Real Education of TJ Crowley’ (Free Chapter 1 Download)

Author Grant Overstake presents an author talk and book signing for his new young adult novel, “The Real Education of TJ Crowley”.

WICHITA, Kan. — An enthusiastic crowd gathered at Watermark Books & Cafe to celebrate the release of author Grant Overstake’s highly anticipated new young adult novel, The Real Education of TJ Crowley. The book has received fine endorsements and reviews and is now on sale at booksellers nationwide and around the world.

Click to download Chapter One of  The Real Education of TJ Crowley

Overstake, author of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, expressed his gratitude for the support he received in writing his second book, which was released Nov. 5, 2018 by Grain Valley Publishing Co.

Maggie has become modern classic in the worldwide pole-vaulting community since it was published in 2012. Olympians endorsed the book and coaches have purchased copies to inspire their young vaulters. Maggie was named “National Book of the Week” by BookWorks; Audie Award-winning voice actress Tavia Gilbert earned top reviews for her audiobook performance of the story from AudioFile magazine; and the story was a “Too Cool for School” read by Publishers Weekly.

As a Teaching Artist for Arts Partners in Wichita, Overstake presents student assemblies to 3rd through 5th graders called “Don’t Quit, Use Grit!” using pole-vaulting and Maggie’s resilient character as a jumping off point to talk about other “famous failures” like Edison and Einstein and Oprah — to encourage youngsters to get back up and try, try again.

The Real Education of TJ Crowley hit the best-seller list at No. 2 at Watermark.

The Real Education of TJ Crowley addresses the explosive subjects of prejudice, school integration and racism and is written for more mature readers. The story is historical fiction, set in Wichita during the turbulent years of 1968 and 1969 and is told by a fiery tempered 13-year-old from a racist household, who is forced to choose sides after a black couple and their daughter cross the city’s hard-drawn color line and move into the house next door, unaware that the Crowleys are a bigoted brood with ties to evil men.

Like Maggie, the Overstake’s new story features a track and field event as a backdrop: Shot Putting.
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Summers Family Helps Maggie Shine in Sabetha, Kansas

The Summers family's passion for 'Maggie' appears in this week's edition of their hometown newspaper, the Sebetha (Kan.) Herald. A fictional Sebetha Bluejays vaulter competes against Maggie in the novel in the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships.

The Summers family’s passion for ‘Maggie Vaults Over the Moon’ led to a great article in this week’s edition of their hometown newspaper, The Sabetha Herald. In the young adult novel, a Sabetha High School pole-vaulter competes with Maggie at the Kansas State Track and Field Championships.

An awesome Kansas sports family with a passion for pole-vaulting has helped Maggie make headlines in their hometown newspaper.

Maggie competes against a vaulter from Sebetha High School.

In the novel, Maggie Steele competes against a vaulter from Sabetha High School.

It all started when Sabetha native, Marcus Summers, who coaches Garden City Western Express, introduced Maggie Vaults Over the Moon to his athletes, presenting the young adult novel to them as end-of-season “Maggie Awards.”

Marcus then introduced Maggie to parents, Jon and Janet, who live in Sabetha, located in the northeast corner of the state.

Janet then wrote to author Grant Overstake, asking permission to approach the local newspaper: “My husband and I have both read your book and loved it,” she wrote. “We’re recommending it to anyone wanting a great, inspiring read, set in rural Kansas.”

With a big thumbs-up from the author, Janet shared the story with Patty Locher, Staff Writer at the Sabetha Herald. She, too, emailed the author: “I read the book last night and loved it! You have a treasure here, a “can’t-put-it-down” book!” Continue reading

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Garden City’s Western Express Vaulters Celebrate a Great Season with ‘Maggie Awards’


The Western Express Track Club celebrates a great season with Maggie Awards. Bottom Row, Left to Right: Natasha Covarrubias (Incoming MS Vaulter); Reyna Juache (Incoming MS Vaulter); Brooklyn Staats (MS Vaulter); Jade Denton (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Hannah Schultz (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Crystal Juache (Future MS Vaulter); Allison Arana (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Kaitlin Smith (GCHS Vaulter); Taylor Linenberger (GCHS Vaulter); and Lourdis Covarrubias (GCHS Vaulter). Top Row, Left to Right: Jack Koehn (MS Vaulter); Stephen Dunlap (GCHS Manager); Dakota Brungardt (GCHS Vaulter); Brett Cady (GCCC Vaulter); Nick Juache (GCHS Vaulter); Austin Lubbers (GCHS Vaulter); Brian “Cookie” Rodriguez (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); Gustavo “Guz-Man” Bustos (Incoming GCHS Vaulter); and Coach Marcus Summers.

Coach Marcus Summers invited a special visitor to make a surprise appearance at the Western Express Track Club’s farewell practice of the summer on Monday, July 29th, in Garden City, Kan.

Western Express Track Club Coach Marcus Summers inspired his vaulters with 'Maggie Awards.'

Coach Marcus Summers inspires his vaulters with Maggie Awards.

The special guest was none other than the world’s most inspiring storybook pole-vaulter, Maggie Steele, who made the trip from her farm near Grain Valley in Southeast Kansas, waaay out west, to a city where Buffaloes stampede down the runway.

Coach Summers ordered multiple copies of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon to present to club members as inspirational Maggie Awards. The young adult novel tells the story of Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who overcomes hardship and soars to new heights as a pole-vaulter.

buffaloes_garden_city_boys_varsity_basketball_winter_12-13The story has been endorsed by Olympians, coaches, teachers, and others who identify with the book’s inspiring message for young people.

Author Grant Overstake says Maggie was happy to visit Garden City!

Freshman Gustavo “Guz-Man” Bustos is one of several talented Western Express vaulters with promising futures.

Freshman Gustavo “Guz-Man” Bustos is a talented Western Express vaulter with a promising future.

“Maggie has been cheering for Western Express vaulters at track meets and street vaults all over the state this summer,” he added. “She was happy to congratulate the Buffalo vaulters and inspire them with her story.”

The hard-charging Buffalo is a fitting mascot for a herd of bold 11- to 18-year-olds who comprise one of the most successful vault clubs on the Kansas prairie. The new club has already made its mark, producing middle school league champs, high school state qualifiers and medalists, and college vaulters. Continue reading

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‘Wannabe Distance God’ a Must-Read for Track and Field Fans

'I wanted to be a distance god. There. I said it. I would've broken out of the lead pack and surged away... merciless, alone, almost floating. The field would've strung out and withered behind me as I burned and buried the best runners on the face of the planet. I would've been immortal. Was that to much to ask?" -- From "Wannabe Distance God" by Timothy M. Tays, PhD.

“I wanted to be a distance god. There. I said it. I would’ve broken out of the lead pack and surged away…. I would’ve been immortal. Was that too much to ask?” — From “Wannabe Distance God” by Timothy M. Tays, PhD.

From Grant Overstake, Author of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon:

“I’ve just finished reading a great new sports book about track and field titled, Wannabe Distance God: The Thirst, Angst, and Passion of Running in the Chase Pack. This memoir by Timothy M. Tays, PhD, is a thoughtful and entertaining must-read for all track and field fans from high school to adults, and I’m eager to recommend it to you.

Timothy M. Tays, PhD

Timothy M. Tays, PhD

Even if you’re a pole-vaulter who can’t bear the thought of running past the runway, believe me, this book will help you get better. The passion and dedication required to be a great pole-vaulter and a great distance runner are exactly the same. Current athletes will learn what it takes to be successful, and former athletes could get even more out of this book, which helped me put my sports career in a healthier perspective, long after my glory days have ended. Continue reading


‘Maggie’ Celebrates Texas River Vault Champions!


Texas River Vault Championship winners from left, Kendall Shaw, Lauren Garcia, and Britton Chapman.

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Maggie Steele cheered herself hoarse Saturday, June 15th, at one of the biggest pole-vault festivals in the nation, the Texas River Vault Championship!

“It was one of the greatest things that ever happened to her,” said author Grant Overstake. “The whole experience was simply awesome.”

They say everything’s bigger in Texas and this event was no exception.  TexasRiverStreetVaultlogoThe USA Track and Field Sanctioned Event featured four vault runways! There were exactly 300 participants, and 301 if you count one fictional vaulter from Grain Valley, Kan.

A copy of Overstake’s inspirational sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon was presented to champions in each female division. In addition, a special “Maggie Award” was presented to Adolph Hoffman of Summersett, Texas, who jumped a new Age 90 World Record of 6-0 at the event! (See Full Results Here)

The invitation to Come on down! to the Texas River Championships came from Jon Johnson, President of the event and a coach of one the nation’s premier clubs, Lone Star Pole Vaulting. He says awarding copies of Maggie will inspire the female vaulters to continue on their own quests, over the moon.

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‘Maggie’ Soars at Region’s No. 1 Bookstore

The teen sports novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon has become a consistent best-seller at Watermark Books and Cafe, the region's No. 1 bookseller.

‘Maggie’ is a best-seller at Watermark Books, the region’s No. 1 bookseller.

Boosted by enthusiastic reader recommendations and online sales, the popular teen novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon continues to soar as a best-seller at Watermark Books & Cafe, the region’s No. 1 bookstore.

Author Grant Overstake reads from 'Maggie Vaults Over the Moon' at a book signing at Watermark Books on April 7, 2013.

Author Grant Overstake reads at Watermark Books on April 7, 2013.

Listed among works by writers such as Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed), Maggie ranks 10th on the Watermark Books Best-Sellers list as of June 16, 2013. The novel has soared to as high as No. 3 in recent months.

“It’s been amazing and exciting to see how readers of all ages have responded to Maggie,” says author Grant Overstake. Continue reading

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Maggie’s Eagles Soar at City League Meet

Bishop Carroll senior and future KU Jayhawk, Nick Meyer soared to victory in the Wichita City League Championship.

The Sunflower State’s top pole-vaulter, Nick Meyer, Bishop Carroll senior and future KU Jayhawk, won the Wichita City League Championship.

Congrats to Maggie’s pole-vaulting friends Caitlin Hawk (10-8) and Nick Meyer (16-2) of Bishop Carroll HS for soaring to gold medals at the Wichita City League Meet!

The high-flying Golden Eagles, coached by Denis Fraizer, are big fans of the teen novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, which captures the excitement of the world’s greatest sport.

Maggie says, “Way to go Caitlin and Nick! And best wishes to all Kansas HS pole-vaulters in the next few weeks. Knowing the Highest and Best for you at Regionals and State!” Continue reading