Monday, December 19, 2016 4:19 PM

Dear Pole Vaulters, Family, and Friends,


Winter is upon us and it’s 27 degrees as I write this!  We’ve got lots of information regarding coaches, weather, practice schedules, and meet schedules to discuss so I’ll get right to it.


Facebook - We have both a Lone Star Pole Vaulting page and a group on Facebook.  These emails are lengthy and take a long time to put together, as do updates to our main website, so for quick and up to date announcements, please check the Facebook page and if you’re not already a member, request to join the Lone Star Pole Vaulters group.


New Coach - many of you have already met and worked with him but I’d like to formally introduce our new Associate Head Coach for Lone Star Pole Vaulting, Mr. Kyle Ellis.  Kyle is a native of Oklahoma City but has spent the last 10+ years up north building pole vault powerhouses at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and the University of Wisconsin.  Himself a retired 17’6 vaulter and former school record holder at EIU, Kyle stayed on at his alma mater to become the vault and jumps coach and produced 2 18’0+ male vaulters and one 14’7 female vaulter, no small accomplishment, especially at a university that practically nobody has heard of and didn’t have the means to recruit in blue-chip high school superstars.  One of his female vaulters came into his program as a 9’0 high school vaulter and eventually jumped 13’0 in 3 short years.  That kind of improvement in college is generally unheard of.  


In addition to coaching the pole vault, Ellis also coached the Eastern Illinois long jumpers and triple jumpers.  He coached 27 Ohio Valley Conference Champions during his time at Eastern Illinois.  During the 2014 campaign he coached Peter Geraghty to first-team All-American honors, placing 4th at the NCAA Outdoor National Championship.  Geraghty set a school record in the pole vault with a height of 18’2.75 and went on to place 4th at the US National Championships clearing 18’0.5.  During his tenure at EIU Ellis’s accomplishments also included a podium sweep of the men’s triple jump at the OVC Indoor Championships in 2011.  His pole vaulters swept the podium in 2011, 2013, and culminated with a men’s and women’s podium sweep in 2014.  Ellis coached the pole vault and horizontal jumpers to 39 Eastern Illinois top ten performances and set eight school records in the pole vault.  In 2012, Jade Riebold earned OVC Female Field Athlete of the Year honors in both indoor and outdoor track as she set both the EIU and OVC record for the event with a performance of 14’7.25”.  Riebold went on to become the first EIU women’s athlete to earn NCAA Division I All-American honors earning second team honors in both indoor and outdoor pole vault.  Riebold would earn a spot at the Olympic Trials.  On the men’s side the pole vault crew sent Mick Viken to the NCAA Outdoor National Championships where he earned second team All-American honors.  In 2014 Ellis coached Jalisa Paramore to #2 on the all-time list with a jump of 20’3.75” in the long jump.  In 2011 he coached Viken to the OVC Freshman of the Year for both the indoor and outdoor track seasons.  


Ellis was a standout in the pole vault during his two year career at EIU.  He set the school record for the indoor pole vault at 17’1” which was broken in 2011.  He currently ranks 3rd on the EIU career list for indoor pole vault.  A native of Oklahoma City, Ellis was an All-OVC performer and a 2009 graduate of EIU with a BA in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Kinesiology.


Whilst building his college programs, Kyle also built a club program on the side which produced 6 High School State Champions.


One last fun fact about Kyle is that he is a professional disc golf player in his free time.  Kyle just moved to New Braunfels last week and we hope to keep him around for a long time as his knowledge and experience combined with my own will help propel each and every vaulter in our club to the pinnacle of their ability.   


I would like to see everyone take the opportunity to get some private 1-on-1 instruction with Kyle in addition to the time you’ll spend with him in group practices.  For the remainder of December, we’re offering a Private Lesson Special Rate with Coach Kyle of $75 for 90 minutes.  As Kyle is a Head Coach like myself, this is normally priced at $120.  He’ll be traveling the rest of this week but will have availability next week.  You can book a private with Kyle on our online scheduler via this link:


Weather - Please make sure to check the weather and dress appropriately before coming to practice.  It’s not uncommon to see temperature drops of 30 degrees from the start of an afternoon practice to after the sun goes down in a few hours.  We do our best to try to make everyone comfortable with our heaters, but it’s difficult to heat an uninsulated, drafty metal building with a few patio heaters.  In San Antonio we have no heat or roof or walls!  Dress accordingly; that goes for parents and spectators too.  Athletes should “layer-up and peel-down,” which works better than one thick layer of clothing.  I’ll typically wear a short sleeve t-shirt under a long sleeve t-shirt, under a hoodie, under a jacket to start and peel as comfortable.  Tights under wind pants and/or sweats on the legs.  Hand warmers in pockets, gloves or mittens to put on between jumps, and warm socks that will fit into your spikes.  Our policy for canceling practice is a 40 degree threshold… if it’s going to be 40 and above we’ll go ahead with practice.  If the temperature is forecasted to be 39 or below we cancel.  I’ll text and email everyone at least 2 hours in advance of any practices if we decide to cancel.  Experience has shown us that suffering through a sub-40 degree practice is rarely productive and mostly miserable, especially when you can’t feel your hands or hold onto the pole!

Memberships - membership in our club for group practices is not monthly, but is sold in practice blocks of 4 practices for $100, 8 for $150, or 12 for $200 and expire in 90 days to allow you more flexibility and value.  You can use unlimited practices (up to 7 days per week) for $200 with a 30 day expiration.  Please try to keep up with your account, but if you need an account statement to see when you're due for renewal, email our Office Manager Roxanne Alvarez or call the office at 830-620-1175.

USATF Memberships - anyone participating in in our club group practices MUST have a current membership card with USA Track and Field.  This is not optional, as it is a contingency for our liability insurance coverage.  These memberships expire on December 31st unless you've purchased a multi-year membership, so please get signed up or renewed for 2017 and forward our Office Manager Roxanne your membership confirmation email.  You can sign up online at


Group Practice Schedule - We are currently on Holiday Hours through January 2nd:

Monday 12/19: 3-5pm

Tuesday 12/20: No practice - we are hosting a television commercial camera shoot all day

Wednesday 12/21: 9-10:30, 10:30-Noon

Thursday 12/22: 5-6:30, 6:30-8

Friday 12/23: 9-10:30, 10:30-noon

Saturday 12/24-Sunday 12/25: CLOSED

Monday 12/26: 9-10:30, 10:30-noon

Tuesday 12/27: 5-6:30, 6:30-8

Wednesday 12/28: 9-10:30, 10:30-noon

Thursday 12/29: 5-6:30, 6:30-8

Friday 12/30: 9-10:30, 10:30-noon

Saturday 12/31-Sunday 1/1: CLOSED

Monday 1/2: 9-10:30, 10:30-noon

Tuesday 1/3: Normal hours resume, Mon-Fri 4-5:30, 5:30-7ish, Sat 9-10:30, 10:30-noon, Sun 1-2:30, 2:30-4


San Antonio Group Practice Schedule - Starting in January we’re looking to hold 2 practices per day on Wednesdays, a 4:00 and a 5:30 at St. Mary’s Hall.  Big thanks to Paul Golibart for allowing us to crash his backyard pit for a few weeks while we dodged the soccer games on Tuesdays at The Hall.  For this week and next:

Tuesday 12/20: 4-6

Tuesday 12/27: 4-6

You can schedule San Antonio Group Practices via this link:


Each practice in either location is technically slated for 90 minutes, however they are structured to take 2 hours with a 30 minute overlap.  Those arriving to the later practice will be doing the warmup and workout routine during the first 30 minutes as the first group is finishing up vaulting.  If you need to leave earlier, please let the coach know at the beginning of practice so we can modify and structure the session accordingly.  Don’t forget to bring your “numbers” (phone or training log) that contain all your information about steps, grips, poles, etc…, your spikes, and water.


Private Lesson Schedule - Coach Kyle, Coach Chaney, and myself are available most hours when there are no group practices going on.  Kyle will be traveling up north the latter part of this week through Christmas and returning next week.  None of us are available on Tuesday the 20th due to the television commercial shoot going on here.  We are happy to have our outdoor pit and runway functional again so that we can run groups and private lessons concurrently (or divide up the bigger groups) starting next week.  You can request a private lesson online here:


Results - Age is Just a Number Classic - We held our 6th annual edition of this meet on December 10th and had a great turnout and some great jumping.  The results were age-graded and gender-graded as a means of handicapping the meet to level the playing field and give everyone a chance to win regardless of age or gender.  60 year old Don Curry of Bryan won the overall but many of our athletes were in the hunt for the title with Lauren Sikoski finishing second with a double PR day.  Full results here:  Thanks to everyone who came out, and we’ll host 2 more indoor meets here on January 21 and February 4, so still 2 chances for our newcomers to gain valuable competition experience with the home field advantage and coaching before venturing out onto the battlefield of a school track meet with no coach.  


Upcoming Meets - Now that we have 2 full time coaches in addition to our Assistants, we can cover more ground and get out to some meets.  Here is a list of the upcoming Pre-school-track meets we will be attending, who is eligible to compete, and the associated fees.  For meets where I will enter you via DirectAthletics (Texas A&M, University of Houston), please add the entry fee to you coaching fee when you make payment.  I need to know everyone who is going to each meet, so even if you’ve told me before, please let me know again which meets you’ll be attending via email, text, or at practice.


Expo Explosion 8 - Saturday, December 31st, Bell County Expo Center, Belton, TX. This is the best indoor pole vault meet in the State and is open to anyone. Jack Chapman and the Texas Elite Pole Vault Club do a first-rate job putting this on and even though it’s New Year’s Eve, think of it as a chance to up that 2016 Personal Record and come into the New Year flying high! I’ll be attending/hauling poles/coaching for a $40 fee. Enter yourselves online:

Texas A&M High School Classic – Girls on Friday, January 6th – Boys on Saturday January 7th, Texas A&M University, College Station. The best indoor track venue in the United States. For high school only, this is a professionally run event that is at a top notch facility and run by the book. Not as laid back as pole vault-only meets as this is a full-on track meet, but a great chance to gain experience in a big meet. I would recommend any girls vaulting above 10'0 and boys vaulting above 13'0 to participate. I’ll be attending/hauling poles/coaching for a $40 fee. I will enter any interested vaulters online. Details here:

Carl Lewis High School Invitational – Saturday, January 14th, University of Houston, Houston. For high school only, this is a full-on track meet at a good indoor facility with great competition. I would recommend any girls vaulting above 9'0 and boys vaulting above 12'0 to participate. Kyle will be attending/hauling poles/coaching for a $40 fee. I will enter any interested vaulters online. Details here:

National Pole Vault Summit - January 13-14. Every year in January for the past 25+ years, Reno, Nevada holds the largest gathering of pole vaulters in the World. The Pole Vault Summit is a combination clinic, convention, and competition catering to pole vaulters of literally every age and ability-level, coaches, parents, and fans. I have personally attended every year except twice since 2000 and have never had a bad experience. The format is simple: arrive Thursday, January 12th, group lectures/presentations/hands-on instruction throughout the day Friday, elite pole vault competition with some of the world’s best pole vaulters including Olympians and World Record Holders Friday night in front of a crowd of about 2000, competitions for every age/gender/ability level throughout the day Saturday the 14th, return home Sunday the 15th. All participants generally stay at the host hotel, The Nugget, and get to meet and mingle with literally thousands of vaulters of all ages from around the US and worldwide. You are up close to the best of the best vaulters and all are very warm and receptive to taking photos and signing autographs. This is also a great bonding experience for our vaulters with each other and a nice vacation with great skiing nearby. I will be going this year and will take care of transporting poles to and from Reno and coaching anyone who attends for a $150 coaching fee. (flying one bag of poles round trip on Southwest Airlines is $150). So far I know of 4 of our vaulters who are planning on attending (Emily, Lauren, Kristy, and Olivia), and have heard from others that are interested. If you are interested in going, you’ll need to take care of registering yourself and making your own travel arrangements. Please make payment of the coaching fee prior to the trip. For online registration and more information, visit the official website:

Lions Winter Series I - Saturday January 21st, Lone Star Pole Vaulting, New Braunfels. For ALL AGES AND ABILITIES. We will here running the meet and coaching for a $10 coaching fee. Register yourself online. Details here:

Eagle Dome Pole Vault Meet – Saturday, January 28th, Woodsboro, TX. This is a first-time event for a new club in the South Texas/Coastal area. I’d like to see a lot of you attend and help make it another great one annually! Please get registered as soon as possible if you think you can go as they are limiting entries to only 60 total. ALL AGES AND ABILITIES are eligible and recommended to participate. I’ll be attending, hauling poles & coaching for a $40 coaching fee.

Lions Winter Series II – Saturday, February 4th, Lone Star Pole Vaulting, New Braunfels. For ALL AGES AND ABILITIES. We will here running the meet and coaching for a $10 coaching fee. Register yourself online. Details here:

Dynamis Sports Group High School Classic – Boys on Friday, February 10, Girls on Saturday, February 11th, The Ford Center (Dallas Cowboys Indoor Training Facility), Frisco, TX. I would recommend any girls vaulting above 10'0 and boys vaulting above 13'0 to participate. Enter yourselves online. I’ll be attending/hauling poles/coaching for a $60 coaching fee.

Happy Holidays to Everyone,

Kris Allison
Head Coach
Lone Star Pole Vaulting
830-620-1175 office
830-263-2526 cell