Sequoia’s Pole Vault team played its first matches during the 2017 spring season for the first time after Resources Officer David Stahler decided to lead the team.
Though students could still compete in Pole Vault before last spring, it was reserved for students already participating on the track and field team. In past years, two or three vaulters represented
Sequoia and they would be taught independently by the track and field coach.
“If [a student] wanted to pole vault on their own, they could get help, but no one really took it on by themselves,” Stahler said. “It just happened that last year I showed up and took on the team with another coach—Greg Brook.”
The team reached a plateau of 17 vaulters during last spring’s inaugural season. The team competes alongside the track and field team at every meet and is mostly comprised of students that had played on the track and field team in previous years.
“I went to the track team at the beginning of the season and told them, ‘There are new coaches and new equipment,’” Stahler said. “I told them ‘If you want to [compete in] pole vault, this is the time to do it.’”
When Stahler took over as head coach last year, he quickly realized the top team priority was to get better equipment.
“I walked in [the equipment room] and saw that [there was] only two drawers with six or seven poles. That is a very small amount of poles and they were all old,” Stahler said.
Stahler asked the Boosters club for a grant and the team received six poles from them. A friend of Stahler’s additionally donated $2000 to the team for new equipment. Finally, Stahler donated one new pole to the team.
“We have added ten new poles though as normal program would have 20 poles so we are up to 12-13 poles so we are getting up to an average program,” Stahler said.
Stahler‘s experience competing in pole vault matches began when he was in high school. He represented his high school, Saint Francis, during his sophomore, junior and senior years. Though he did not vault while in college, Stahler regularly practiced the sport. This has allowed him to compete in the US Police and Firefighter Games twice and the World Police and Firefighter Games this past year.
“I connect with some of the same guys at the US games every year. At the world games this year, I met people from Austria, Greece, Israel and Germany,” Stahler said.