Jeff Hartwig’s pole vault career started out rather modestly, but before he was done he had climbed all the way to the top of the T&FN World Rankings.
The Missouri native began vaulting in ’82 at age 14, reaching all of 9-6 (2.89), but by his senior season at Arkansas State in ’90, he had improved to 17-8½ (5.70).
Still, he didn’t earn his first U.S. Ranking position until ’95, at the relatively advanced age of 27 and it took another three years before he cracked the world’s top 10.
But as the following chart shows, he then rated every season until he retired after the ’08 campaign. During his 14-year stay in the U.S. Rankings, he spent half of them in the World Top 10 as well, rating No. 1 globally in ’02.
Read More from Jeff:
Part 2: Hartwig assesses Olympic and world champion Steve Hooker.
Part 2: Hartwig on the "Isinbaeva X Factor.""
P.S.: Peeps Jeff's Progression from 28-40 Years old