Wimborne has TWO British Masters Pole Vault Champions!
Trudi Carter reports from Lee Valley.
Despite having coached a range of athletes to national standards in
different sports, neither David Pearson nor I had been in a National
Championship with a realistic chance of an individual medal ourselves!
The event was the British Masters Indoor Championship at Lee Valley
stadium, 9th and 10th March 2013.
Unfortunately, they had split the pole vault into three pools. All the
women aged 35-plus were in a pool with the men aged 60 and over. This
was on the Saturday. On the Sunday were the ‘younger’ men and, as there
were quite a number of these, they were divided into two groups with
those vaulting over 3.60m being in Dave’s pool. This meant two trips up
to North London, so Dave decided to enter the 60m sprint on the Saturday
to keep him occupied!
As with all these competitions, things don’t go smoothly. The initial
difficulty was that I had not received confirmation of my entry or,
therefore, been sent the competitors’ final instructions. We also knew
of another athlete who had not received her information and she had been
told she was not vaulting ... was I ‘in’ or ‘out’. As I had put my entry
in just after the closing date, I doubted that I was in. However, on
arrival John, a Welsh vaulter, greeted me with a hug and the words, ‘ I
saw your name in the programme’.
From then on the day brightened and I began to relax. In my pool there
were about 15 vaulters with the lowest coming in at 1.30m. My warm up
had gone well and our ‘new’ run up seemed to work well, however, due to
the older athletes being in my pool it was over 1½ hours before I was to
take my first vault. Anyone who knows me will realise how difficult this
waiting around was for me. When I finally got to jump, I cleared the bar
on my first attempt. I was the first to jump in that round and all of
the other competitors watched me soar over the bar with a big clearance.
A big smile from Trudi Carter, British Masters’ gold medallist 2013
Up to this point I hadn’t really noticed the crowd, but the response to
my vault reminded me of where I was - I think it must have had an effect
on the other competitors too, as they failed that height. I had won the
competition with one vault!
Meanwhile, Dave had been competing in the 60m sprint. Wow! They are
remarkably fast. The winning time for the M45 (Dave’s category) was
7.42s. Dave finished third in his heat and narrowly missed out on
reaching the final. A good day for us both.
Sunday and it was Dave’s vault. The vaulting community is a friendly one
and generally athletes help each other out. Within a few minutes of
warming up, Dave commented on how tense the atmosphere was and that
‘I’ve got no one to talk too!’.
For his first full warm up vault, Dave had a pole that was a little too
soft and ended up almost coming off the back of the landing area. (It
would have been good to have had a photograph of that one!) Time to move
up to a stiffer pole.
Dave Pearson, British Masters’ gold medallist 2013 in action
All seemed to go well and Dave started vaulting within about 30 minutes
of the competition starting. Allan Williams is an ex-national vaulter
who was competing in the same British side as Daley Thompson. He was in
Dave’s group and Dave’s closest rival. Vault for vault they were
matching each other, but Dave won that battle and a gold medal!