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Ehrhardt, Schmidt surprise winners at Windy City Pole Vault Summit

Published by
Mike Newman   Mar 3rd 2013, 10:01am

By Michael Newman


Rolling Meadows, Ill --- While the Rolling Meadows girls basketball team and their fans were ready to some rocking in the 4A finals in Normal, the Rolling Meadows Fieldhouse was doing some rocking of their own. The Fieldhouse is the home of the annual Windy City PV Summit with some of the top Pole Vaulters in the state converging on the two runways for some graet PR’s. The music was blairing and the athletes were soaring.


Nobody could have predicted what they were about to see.


In the Boys competition, the field was narrowed down to six with the bar being raised to 14-7. The real competition was ready to begin with Luke Winder (Central HS, Plainfield), Chad Weaver (Providence Catholic HS, New Lenox) Derrick Smith & Tim Ehrhardt (Lake Park HS, Roselle), Adam Coulon (Tri-Valley HS, Downs), and Tyler Ginger (Olympia HS, Stanford) ready to take the bar to heights that could only imagine.


The game began as athletes started to pass on heights to put pressure on their competitors. When the bar was raised to 15-7, only Ginger, Winder, and Erhardt remained. It looked like Winder had the advantage clearing his opening height of 14-7 and then 14-11 fairly easy. He passed all the way to 15-7. Ginger took a similar road clearing 14-1, passing at 14-4, clearing 14-7 on his first attempt, and then clearing 15-1 on his first attempt. These two vaulters headed into 15-7 with confidence.


Meanwhile, Tim Ehrhardt struggled clearing 14-1 on his third attempt and 14-7 on his second attempt. Through those struggles and the vaults he had taken, he was gaining confidence.


Ehrhardt was the first to go at 15-7. He stuck his plant and cleared a PR of 15-7, putting pressure on both Ginger and Winder. It was a pressure that neither could respond to as both missed on all three attempts. Ehrhardt had the win.


He tried three attempts at 16-0, but failed to clear, He did, however, have the win in this prestigious event.


“I jumped 15-0 last night at Batavia. I had the same thing going on where I had to keep my trail leg straight,” Ehrhardt said. “It worked out better I guess.”


The girls side was just as competitive and just as surprising. Meet favorite Sarah Bell (Central Catholic HS, Bloomington) entered the competition at 11-9 where she cleared on her first attempt. Eight athletes were left at 11-6, but that was narrowed down quickly. When it got to 12-3 all there was left was Bell, Carly Schmidt (Lake Forest HS, Lake Forest), and Taylor Knauf (Aurora Christian HS, Aurora) who had set a PR clearing 12-0 and was having a hot night. Knauf missed on her three attempts. Schmidt decided to pass at 12-3. Bell attempted that height and cleared on her second attempt.


Bell passed at 12-6 trying to put the pressure on Schmidt. Schmidt cleared 12-6 with room to spare. The bar was raised to 12-9 and it looked like Schmidt might have a slight advantage. She did.

On her first try at 12-9, Schmidt had a beautiful clearance putting the same kind of pressure on Bell that Ehrhardt had done in the boys competition. Bell’s three attempts were unsuccessful giving Schmidt an improbable win..but not to her. Her coach raised the bar to 13-1 but told his pupil that it was only 13-0 (Preparing for the future). She missed on her first two attempts and decided to end the night. She was worn out with reason.

“This meet is way above the others. It is so relaxed. The music is going. You get food. You get shirts,” Schmidt said. “You are with other girls who are elite as well so you are not waiting around for hours.”


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