Elite talent makes 10th beach vault a premier event in GH

Looking back at it now, Kevin Patterson admits that the first Grand Haven Beach Vault was a nightmare. Complete with a John Deere Gator, a Bobcat leveling skid and a few shovels, Patterson and some coaching friends who shared his vision of an outdoor pole vaulting competition worked on trying to level off the sand at the Grand Haven City Beach until 1:30 a.m. When their challenge still wasn't completed the next day - the morning of the event - the crew were fortunate enough to track down a local worker on the beach with a front-end loader.
Nate Thompson
Jul 15, 2011

 

“He helped square things away,” Patterson said, a pole vaulting coach at Rockford High School and Cornerstone University and Aquinas College. “Without him, we might not have had a beach vault that first year.”

Now celebrating their 10th year fielding the popular event in Grand Haven, Patterson said it’s still “a ton of work” to put together, but the Grand Haven Beach Vault has transformed from somewhat of an experiment on the beach into a red-letter date among the Who’s Who in pole vaulting circles. The competition gets underway today with 14-and-under girls and boys at 10 a.m., with elite level vaulters scheduled for their opening attempts around 1 p.m. Saturday.

To read more of this story, see today's print or E-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

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