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Bringing Home the Gold: The Katie Moon Pole Vault Classic

Alyssa Klauminzer and Katie Moon

Katie Moon, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in pole vault and Olmsted Falls native, hosted the Katie Moon Pole Vault Classic at Olmsted Falls High School on June 8. And I had the joy of going!

I was a pole vaulter in high school and grew up outside of Cleveland like Moon, so I have been watching her compete for a while now. That includes waking up in the middle of the night to watch her secure Olympic gold in Tokyo. 

Before the meet began, Olmsted Falls High School dedicated the pole vault runway and pit to Katie Moon, naming them after her. Her name is now painted next to the end of the runway.

The event, sponsored by Nike, was a USA Track & Field event, and showcased pole vaulters ahead of the Olympic Trials. There were 11 competitors, each with impressive feats in the sport: collegiate champion Sydney Walter, NACAC champion Kristen Leland, 2016 Olympic Trials finalist Kristen Brown, USA Outdoor World Championship team member Emily Grove, 2022 NCAA pole vault champion Gabriela Leon, 2020 Olympian Morgann Leleux-Romero, NCAA Division II standout Madison Wulfekotter, 2017 NCAA Division III outdoor champion Marissa Kalsey, Big Ten indoor record holder Chloe Timberg, 2016 and 2020 Canadian Olympian Anicka Newell, and of course the Olympic champion herself, Katie Moon.

The opening height for the meet started at 4.18 meters (13 feet 8.5 inches). For reference, most high school meets start at 1.80 meters (6 feet). 

Marissa Kalsey, courtesy of Cheryl Klauminzer

The Olympic Trials qualifying mark for women’s pole vault is 4.30 meters. Marissa Kalsey set a new personal record while meeting this qualifying mark. She finished fifth in the competition at 4.48 meters. 

Gabriela Leon, courtesy of Cheryl Klauminzer

Gabriela Leon came in fourth with a final height of 4.53 meters. Leon looks forward to the Olympic Trials, which take place June 21-30 in Eugene, Ore.

Alyssa Klauminzer and Gabriela Leon

Chloe Timberg, courtesy of Cheryl Klauminzer

Chloe Timberg, the youngest competitor at 20, finished in third with a height of 4.53 meters.

Emily Grove, courtesy of Cheryl Klauminzer

At 4.58 meters, Emily Grove finished as the runner-up of the Katie Moon Pole Vault Classic.

Katie Moon, courtesy of Cheryl Klauminzer

The hometown hero and woman of the hour, Katie Moon, came out on top in her competition. Moon finished with a final height of 4.73 meters. She attempted 4.86 meters, which would be the new world-leading height of the season. Moon is incredibly close to clearing the mark. I cannot wait to see what she accomplishes at the Olympic Trials and (hopefully) in Paris.

Alyssa Klauminzer, Anicka Newell, and Kristen Leland

I want to give a special thank you to Gabriela Leon, Anicka Newell, and Kristen Leland for coming over to talk to myself and other fans after the meet, and Katie Moon and Olmsted Falls High School for putting the meet together. 

The atmosphere of the competition was exciting for competitors and pole vault fans alike. Chloe Timberg said in her Instagram post (@chloe.timberg), “I had the opportunity to jump in a meet with a stacked field of amazing women. It was a huge reminder of why the pv community is so special.”

Katie Moon said on Instagram (@ktnago13), “An absolute dream come true. The Katie Moon Pole Vault Classic was a success in every way, and surpassed every expectation. Thank you, Karen Locke, Nike, FloTrack, and everyone at Olmsted Falls High School that made this meet a reality. Thank you to the 10 women that traveled here to compete, and thank you to all 2800 of you that came out to cheer us on. The support from this community has been absolutely incredible, and I’m so proud to call Olmsted Falls home.”

Congratulations to the competitors and best of luck at the Olympic Trials and beyond!

Edited By: Bailey Massey

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