The ODA pole vaulter talks his start in the sport and his goals for the season.
Tyler Beck is a sophomore boys track and field athlete at The Out-of-Door Academy. Beck won the pole vault (12 feet, 11.5 inches) March 26 at the Shorecrest Prep Invitational.
When did you start pole vaulting?
I started in sixth grade. I was coming off the cross country season. We didn't have any pole vaulters at the time, but my coaches thought I should try it, so I did. I got better and better, which led to me competing in the AAU Junior Olympics' Boys 13 division that summer. I finished second (7 feet, 11.5 inches). I've been doing it ever since.
What is the appeal to you?
I love the feeling of clearing bars. It's the best feeling you'll ever experience. When you hit that pike [bending at the waist at the peak of the vault] and you go over, it's total bliss.
What is the strongest part of your vault?
I'm able to move bigger poles than everyone else. That gives me a height advantage. The last meet, I was using a 15 foot, 160 pound pole.
What is your favorite memory?
It was probably my last meet, at Shorecrest Prep. I set my personal record and ran off and hugged my teammates. That was a great feeling.
What are your goals for the season?
I want to break the school record. Right now, it's 14 feet, 6 inches. I think if I continue to work on my inversion and get that straightened out, I can do it.
What is your favorite movie?
I don't have just one. I watch a lot of historical documentaries, stuff like that. I just find them interesting. History is my favorite subject in school, too.
Which superpower would you pick?
As a pole vaulter, the ability to fly would be helpful.
What are your hobbies?
I go fishing all the time and I take flying lessons at Cirrus Aviation. I want to be a pilot.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Every meet is a practice. I see it all the time: people let meets get in their head, they start missing bars, etc. Once you view meets as another round of practice, that all goes away.
Finish this sentence: "Tyler Beck is …"
… A pole vaulter.