Okay first things first...Mark Hollis is ready. Came out today with decent weather and nice tailwind and he lit the U of I track up. 17'6" first attempt, 18'2" first attempt, 18'5" first attempt, 18'10" first attempt, and to boot some great attempts at 19'...ALL FROM 8 LEFTS. I am very excited for him, he deserves a lot of credit check his videos below.
As for me, I can't lie it looked like another bad day was in the cards. I struggled to get a smooth run together in warm-ups...and I almost put myself out of it, BEFORE the meet started. But the one thing I can say I did well- I competed. When the bar went up to 16' I put the pole in the box and started rocking. All in all, it was a pretty ugly day, and to end up with a 5.15m clearance was impressive for me. Let's walk through it:
-4.90: Still a little choppy on the run, mid was under and takeoff was cramped in at 10'9", but I held on to one put a so/so swing on it and hit 4.90 on the first try. The grip was low- 14'5" on 15' 17.1
-5.05: Made a small tweak moved back 6" and moved up 2 fingers (just like a practice), mid was under again, but the take off was closer to 11', a good adjustment, because I DESTROYED the 17.1. On the 2nd attempt moved up to the 15' 16.0, also moved up 2 fingers again, putting the grip close to 14'7"...mid was under again (probably a little over 24'), takeoff at 11' again, better takeoff position however, and a more active inversion gave me just enough hip height to squeak by the bar.
-5.15: Barely moved the grip up on this one, moved back 6 inches on the approach (to about 113'), better run, more relaxed, mid was probably close to on, take off was a toe over 12' (still under, but worked today). I didn't have the best swing, didn't really commit to the upside down position, but left the bar up after a slight chest brush.
-5.35: moved up to the 15'6" series, because I wanted to keep inching the grip up to 15'1". Well this is where I ran into problems. The first jump was on the 15'6" 17.6, gripping close to 14'8", pole was way to small for the speed and the 12' takeoff. The next two jumps were on the 17.0 gripping at 14'9". Still with these jumps the grip/bend of the pole made the timing of the jump feel rushed. This put me in terrible positions of the top of the pole. I would like to get to a 13' take off with a 15'1" grip on this series, that should move nicely for me.
If you have read the play by play you are probably thinking: How does this stack up? Where does this leave Chris with about 46 days and counting? Well its my 2nd best jump this year, my 2nd best jump outdoors (EVER) with lots of room for improvement. When you watch Hollis, it's simply amazing, but I'm just not there yet. I have to continue to be patient and run my own race. With a few weeks to work on grip height and the run rhythm the PR bar is inevitable. Be on the look out (Billy Hayes meet in a few weeks? maybe a few more home meets on the board runway??? Maybe even a trip down to Bell's?????) Who knows where, but I am ready to go...
Mark Hollis Series:
Chris Smith Series: