School board approves addition of pole vaulting to track team

Senior Tony M. leads the hurdles station during conditioning at track practice. Practices started March 2 in order to prepare the student athletes for their first meet on March 21 at Concordia.

Jonah S.

With the push from Athletic Director Ronda Gestring and junior Morgen V., the Scouts have recently acquired pole vaulting as a new track event.

On Feb. 11, Gestring and Morgen presented their case at the school board meeting, and the board voted in favor of adding the event.

“This event will not only help me, but the team as well,” Morgen said. “I will be able to compete in an event I have done for a long time. We will also be able to get more people out for track, which turns into more team points, and it is something fun you can do instead of just going home right away every day if you normally didn’t do track.”

Morgen has been pole vaulting since seventh grade when he attended Falls City High School. When he moved to David City following his dad’s appointment as David City Elementary School’s principal, Morgen knew he wanted to continue competing in the event. His desire to continue the event helped persuade the school board to vote in favor of adding it.

“Competing in pole vault will help the teams in a big way,” head boys track coach Todd Carmichael said. “We will have an opportunity to score points in an event that we haven’t competed in for a very long time.”

The turnout for people interested in doing the event has been great for both the girls and boys track teams.

“The addition of pole vault to our track program is going to create an excitement that hasn’t been there for a while,” Gestring said. “It is good that athletes are interested in competing in the event. I already have almost 30 students who have expressed an interest in trying the event.”

Jarod Ockander will be the new track coach in charge of pole vault. Ockander was an assistant track coach at Buena Vista University after using up all of his eligibility. As an assistant coach, Ockander worked with a multi-event competitor.

“I was basically getting paid to be his training partner and stretch myself as a coach to learn more about other events. One of those events happened to be the pole vault,” Ockander said.

Ockander has previously coached softball and track at David City, and he currently coaches one-act and speech. But, just like the athletes, the experience he has with pole vault will be new for him even though he has coached it before.

“Our goals are to keep everybody safe and to teach the proper techniques,” Ockander said. “Beyond that, we’ll have to identify our strengths and weaknesses before we make any further goals.”

The Scouts will compete at Concordia University on March 21. The Scouts will be at home on March 24 for their own triangular with David City Aquinas and Shelby-Rising City.